Since April 2007, when the Pension Consultation Forum (which included the Trade Unions and senior management representatives) began discussions, we have been highlighting the need for changes to the Plan, discussing the issues, and encouraging everyone to have their say and give us their comments.
The Proposal was sent out and the formal consultation period ran from 14 November 2007 to 16 January 2008. As we have said in the Proposal, changes have to be made because people are living longer and projected investment returns are lower. Put simply, the cost to the business of providing the current pension benefits into the future is not sustainable. To safeguard pensions, we must reduce both the costs and future risk of providing pensions.
All of the feedback gathered last summer was built into the initial Proposal before the formal Consultation Period started in November. Since then, the Company has received over 35,000 responses via the Helpline, emails, postcards and letters.
Now, after nearly a year of discussion and having secured agreements with the Unions on pay, modernisation and supporting the Company’s Proposal on pension reform, the Company can confirm its final decisions on the changes, which are explained in the Company's Decision section.
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