Update on “the rush”

A source tells me that in fact there is no need to put in place a deficit reduction scheme until April 1st 2012 (the April after the actuarial valuation is completed). He also said that as far as he knew negotiations about closing the deficit had been ongoing between the BBC and the trustees for about 2 years, focused on the BBC agreeing an increased contribution. Then all of a sudden a senior manager appeared at a meeting and sprung the 1% plan on the trustees. It seems that as far as the trustees were concerned, nothing had changed. It was the BBC that changed its strategy. All of which makes it clearer than ever that a strategic decision was taken at the very top of the BBC to dispense with the defined benefit pension scheme, unconnected to the valuation. It’s not hard to understand why. By 2012 licence fee negotiations will be well underway. And as Mark Thompson made clear to me (see earlier post), he does not want to run the risk that the BBC will be seen as an outlier in pensions provision when the licence fee is being renegotiated. Our benefits are being sacrificed as part of a political power play.

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2 Responses to “Update on “the rush””

  1. Chris Says:

    I see the trustees have been taking their own legal advice, too:

    http://www.professionalpensions.com/professional-pensions/news/1728726/bbc-trustees-qc-draconian-scheme-changes

  2. renouj21 Says:

    Thanks Chris: hopefully that’ll help keep the pressure on Mark Thompson. Striking also that the trustees expect the deficit to be £1.5 billion, whilst the BBC keeps saying £2 billion or above.

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