BT loses court case over pension benefit changes

BT has lost a case in the Court of Appeal in which it was trying to change the way it calculates annual uprates to its pension scheme. The scheme currently increases pension benefits in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation, but wanted to switch to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). The firm argued that as the government uses CPI to uprate benefits, it was the more appropriate measurement to use.  

Had the appeal been successful, over 80,000 members would have been affected, losing out by £24,000 each on average for section C members of the scheme, according to trade union Prospect. Sections A and B of the scheme are already linked to CPI. 

Prospect argued the company was "seeking to cut the future incomes of BT pensioners and current employees by tens of thousands of pounds in order to transfer an estimated £2 billion to shareholders". Rather than conceding defeat, BT responded to the ruling by saying it would consider its next move.