UK - The BBC has revealed that contributions to its £6.5bn final-salary pension scheme will rise to ensure its survival after a massive drop in its surplus.
The broadcaster said a review by its actuary, Watson Wyatt, showed that the surplus had fallen by almost 30% since 1999 to £441m and that it would “run out” in 2006-07.
A statement to members said that only higher contributions would ensure that the surplus would continue beyond 2007.
From April 2003, the corporation will increase its contributions by 0.5% each year, so that by April 2005 it will be paying 6% of pensionable salaries into the scheme.
In April 2004 staff contributions will also rise by 0.5%, from 4.5% to 5%, and there will be another increase in April 2005, to 5.5%.
Contribution rates will be reviewed again after the 2005 valuation.
In a message to BBC scheme members, head of pensions Rhoslyn Roberts said: “Despite other large companies announcing the closure of their final salary pension schemes, the BBC intends to keep its scheme and is proposing this action to help ensure its long-term viability.”
BBC director-general Greg Dyke assured staff in September that there were no plans to replace the final salary scheme with a defined contribution plan.
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