UK - Members of mobile phone firm O2's final salary scheme have avoided the scheme closing by voting to increase their contributions from 6% to 10%.
Union bosses at the Communication Workers Union struck the deal with O2 after the firm mooted changing arrangements for the firm's final salary members.
The new deal will allow final salary members to pick either maintaining final salary with a member contribution increase up to 10%; accepting a contribution hike up to 7.5% with a reduced accrual rate from a 60th to 80th; or moving to a defined contribution scheme with a cash pay-off.
Members opting for the DC scheme will be entitled to a cash payment of 21% of salary for five years and 10% of salary in subsequent years.
CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said: "This is a fantastic result which strongly endorses the work of CWU's negotiating team.
"As part of the deal members can receive independent financial advice and then get on with choosing which pension option suits them best, with the option of retaining their full final salary pension."
The union added the outcome was a victory for champions of employee engagement.
CWU assistant secretary Sally Bridge said: "The high turnout in this ballot shows that people are - contrary to popular belief - interested in pensions. Our members not only care about their pension scheme but were prepared to get involved and take part in this ballot.
"This strong endorsement demonstrates that our members in O2 value the significance of what we've tried to do for them on this difficult but vitally important employment benefit."
The final salary scheme closed to new entrants in 2001, with employees joining since then enrolled in the DC arrangement. The firm enrolled workers in its DB scheme between 1986 and 2001.
An O2 spokesperson said: "We are pleased that the CWU have backed our pension proposals which we believe will keep the scheme very competitive."
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