What the BBC would rather you didn’t know

The BBC has made much of the argument that even its “draconian” proposals to reduce our pensions will still lead to the BBC pumping considerably more money into the pension scheme. They say that the proportion of the licence fee spent on pensions will increase from 3.5% to over 5%. What they don’t mention is that a key aim of their proposed changes is to reduce the amount the BBC pays into the pension fund. Currently 25% of what the BBC spends on pensionable salaries (ie non freelancer salaries), goes on pensions. Their aim is to reduce this to 15% . How do these two apparently contradictory statements add up?

They’re measuring different things of course, but the simple explanation is this: in the very short term the BBC will increase its spend on pensions (presumably to help pay off the deficit), but the explicit aim of their current proposals is to ensure that over the medium and long term the BBC’s spend on pensions will dramatically reduce.

If you were being kind you’d say the BBC’s position was disingenuous. What sounds like a big commitment from the BBC (increasing the proportion of the licence fee spent on pensions), turns out to be the complete opposite: a deliberate strategy to reduce the amount spent on pensions.

PS I’m indebted to David Gallagher for drawing attention to the document on which this post is based.

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One Response to “What the BBC would rather you didn’t know”

  1. Sophie Cole Says:

    I really appreciate your blog Jonathan, and couldn’t agree more with all of it. I have never been angrier than now in my working career, and have never seen as much anger as I have around here (BBC Bristol). I feel like I’ve been tricked: I came here 11 years ago from the Indies lured in by the ‘benefits’ which were basically the pension, and on a much reduced salary than I got outside the BBC, and now they’ve reneged on their side of the bargain I can’t get back the pay I would have had outside to put into another pension.

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