British Airways faces strike action over plans to stop accruals in its defined benefit, or final salary, pension scheme.
BA has blamed low interest rates and rising life expectancy for an increase in the scheme’s deficit from £2.8 billion to £3.5 billion, according to the Guardian.
It now plans to close the 20,000 member ‘Naps’ defined benefit scheme to new contributions, meaning members will be moved to a defined contribution scheme, ‘Barp’, where their returns will depend on the performance of its investments.
Unite and GMB unions said they wanted to ‘express on behalf of our members, and in the strongest possible terms, both our dismay and bitter disappointment.’
They said ‘thousands of loyal and long-serving staff’ now faced ‘uncertainty in their retirement.’
The unions called for urgent talks to discuss the impact of the announcement and, if a solution cannot be found ‘the consequences the airline might face’.
BA said it had invested £3.5 billion into the DB scheme since 2003 when it was closed to new members.
Shares in BA’s parent company, International Consolidated Airlines Group (ICAG), added 1.5p to 592p.