Justice Antony Zacaroli has approved the settlement deal between British Airways (BA) and the trustees of the Airways Pension Scheme (APS).
The High Court approval of the deal yesterday follows a court hearing earlier this month looking at the details of the deal, which plans to gradually return the indexation of pensions in payment to align with the Retail Prices Index (RPI) by 2021, with back payments made for the last six years. A further £250m contingency payment will also be unlocked for APS' sister scheme.
This ends the court battle over the trustees' decision to unilaterally award themselves sole power to award discretionary increases in 2011, and then the grant of a 0.2% discretionary increase to members in 2013.
The case had been set to head to the Supreme Court after the High Court and the Court of Appeal had returned judgments contradictory in favour of both BA and the APS trustees, albeit on different legal points.
In a statement, the APS trustees said they were pleased the out-of-court settlement had been agreed and the litigation that commenced in 2013 - and would have otherwise have been due to proceed to appeal at the Supreme Court - had now been brought to an end.
The trustees said they were now making arrangements for eligible pensioner members to receive a one-off lump sum of up to 4.6% and catch-up increase payments of up to 1.7% and 0.7% in the December 2019 pension payroll.
The statement said the trustees would provide full details of the payments and individual statements to all eligible members when payment is made in December - noting individual statements will show the new rate of pension from 8 April 2019 as well as the amount of any lump sum and arrears of pension due.
It said the trustees would also include a summary and FAQ document to assist members with any questions they might have about the discretionary increase payments.
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