Prospect blasts BT over its ‘shameful’ pensions appeal

Prospect blasts BT over its ‘shameful’ pensions appeal

More than 8,000 BT workers have been plunged back into uncertainty, potentially facing pension losses of up to £120 million, after the Court of Appeal granted the company permission to appeal a previous reversal in the High Court.

BT’s continued and relentless quest to erode employees’ pension rights follows a ruling last November when the High Court turned down BT’s challenge to the validity of a HM Treasury decision that affected the level of pension increases.

The increases apply to members of Section B of the BT Pension Scheme (BTPS) who reach State Pension Age between 6 December 2018 and 5 April 2021.

BT is seeking to reduce their benefits by an estimated £120 million in total, an average loss of about £15,000 per member. Younger members of Section B are also at risk of being affected depending on future government decisions. Prospect union has branded the move ‘shameful’ and is urging BT to ‘do the right thing and drop the case.’

It is not yet known when the appeal will take place.

Prospect national secretary Noel McClean said: “It’s extremely disappointing that BT is continuing its legal attacks on its employees’ pension rights.

“The High Court comprehensively rejected BT’s application for a judicial review but the potential savings that would result from a successful appeal have clearly motivated the company to carry on this fight.

“But any savings would be coming from the pockets of its current and former employees and that would be completely unfair. Even at this late stage BT should do the right thing and drop this case.”

The news comes as BT seeks to make other significant cuts to its workforce as part of its Peoples Framework restructuring review. Its proposals were overwhelmingly rejected by Prospect members.