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BECTU Reacts to UTV Pension Scheme Closure


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UK media and entertainment union BECTU has sharply criticised plans by UTV to close its pension scheme, saying members could lose £50,000 over the course of their retirement. 

The move to close the scheme, which is expected the day after the so-called ‘consultation period’ ends, has been branded a ‘sham’ by negotiating officials at media and entertainment union, BECTU.

UTV, which is owned by ITV, says the closure is necessary to be ‘fair to all its employees’. But the UK’s biggest broadcast union says the decision does not honour the terms and conditions offered to members when they started working for the company.

The alternative pension arrangement proposes a maximum employer contribution rate of 9% of basic salary.

Carolyn McCall, ITV PLC’s chief executive was paid £3,695,000 in 2018 and received a pension contribution of £133,000 – which is 15% of her basic salary.

Angela Moffatt, BECTU’s negotiator in Northern Ireland, said: “UTV is seeking to impose detrimental pension changes that will cost BECTU members tens of thousands of pounds over the course of their retirement. This will leave a gaping financial for those hoping to maintain a quality of life after working so hard for UTV.

“We are calling for UTV to defer the implementation of its proposal so that it can properly consider our response. The fairest outcome would be for UTV to honour the pension arrangements our members signed up for.

“If UTV ploughs ahead with its proposal, it should at least share some of the huge savings by compensating the members affected.

“BECTU members are wondering why the maximum employer contribution to the alternative pension scheme they have been offered is 9% while the chief executive of UTV’s parent group gets a 15% pension contribution.

“If the proposal to close the pension scheme is really about fairness, the company should offer the same terms to all its employees.”

The news comes as top boss pay packages came under fire today from The House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee.

The committee called for Britain’s biggest companies to cap salaries for CEOs and align them more closely with workers, or face the wrath of a new regulator.

The hard-hitting report, which names BT’s CEO pay package in the analysis, says that soaring salaries of top bosses at FTSE 100 firms are a symbol of “corporate greed”.