BT loses BT Pension Scheme indexation appeal

Telecoms & Financial Services, BT

The Court of Appeal has today ruled against BT in a case about the indexation of pensions for some 80,000 members of Section C of the BT Pension Scheme (BTPS).

BT had asked the Court of Appeal to overturn an earlier High Court ruling on BT’s interpretation of Scheme rules and on whether it should be allowed to switch to a different cost of living index for calculating increases to pensions in the future.  BT argued that it should be able to decide to switch from the Retail Prices Index to another measure, such as the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), for calculating increases to pensions for Scheme C members.  Moving to the CPI would produce lower increases for members.

However, the Court of Appeal dismissed BT’s claim, concluding that the Scheme rules had been interpreted correctly in the earlier ruling which found that the RPI had not become an inappropriate measure for the purposes of uprating pensions. As a result it is currently not possible for BT to change from RPI to another index.

BT is now considering whether or not to seek a further appeal.

Commenting on the ruling Nigel Cotgrove CWU National Officer said: “The CWU welcomes the Court of Appeal decision which will come as a great relief to Section C members. We are disappointed that BT is now considering a further appeal as this keeps the issue alive when any change to CPI would take money from current and future pensioners.”

Section C of the BT Pension Scheme was established in 1986 and closed for future accrual earlier this year.