UK - Aerospace giant BAe is giving its staff the chance to shape their own future pension provision.
The in-depth consultation programme follows a review of the firm’s seven schemes last year when employees were told that cost pressures meant leaving them unchanged was “not an option”.
An internal employee memo says workers are able to take part in the consultation process – which ends on Monday – by logging on to a pensions review intranet website, talking to an internal communications manager, completing a survey or by leaving a message at a telephone mailbox.
A company spokesman said that the feedback will be “applied during the decision-making process”.
The seven schemes have a combined value of £9bn with an estimated FRS17 deficit of £1.3bn.
As a result, BAe was forced to make a special one-off contribution of £28.9m, in addition to the £110.9m it normally makes into its schemes.
One option being considered is to maintain the current final salary scheme by phasing-in increased contributions from the company and employees.
Amicus AEEU pensions officer Julian Richards described BAe’s consultation as one of the most in-depth processes of its kind.
He said: “If companies are making changes to schemes, one of the key issues is how they handle communication with members.”
The NAPF also backed BAe’s move and said that consulting with employees over proposed changes was “incredibly important”.
BAe’s move also mirrors the recommendations in the government’s Green Paper which state that employers should always consult with employees before closing final salary schemes.
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