BA unions accept pensions deficit deal

09 January 2007
British Airways' trade unions have agreed a deal with company bosses to cut the pensions fund deficit from £2.1 billion to under £1 billion.

Under the new scheme, BA will make a single contribution of £800 million to the fund but alter employee benefits so that £400 million extra stays in the fund instead of being paid out in benefits.

BA will also increase annual contributions to £280 million for the next decade.

The changes will mean staff face retiring later in order to gain the same benefits they have hitherto been entitled to under BA pensions provisions.

Willie Walsh, BA's chief executive, described the unions' decision late on Friday January 5th to back the proposal as "great news".

"We have found a shared solution that… removes a major blocker to future investment in British Airways," he said.

The agreement ends 16 months' of talks between company bosses and the unions.

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