Adviser slams BA trustees’ decision

The decision by BA\'s pension trustees to release the employer from £330m of guarantees which were provided just 3 years ago will have a wide impact on pension schemes throughout the UK, says Intelligent Pensions technical director David Trenner.

A letter from the chairman of the trustees of one of the company’s final salary schemes said: “It is apparent to the trustees that improving the company’s liquidity position, ie the amount of cash the company has available, in the short term is very important. An improving liquidity position will serve as a buffer to sustain BA through difficult trading conditions while it makes permanent changes to its cost base to ensure its onoing viability.”

Trenner says: “What the trustees are effectively saying is that if the company goes under, the PPF can pick up the tab. But the PPF is funded by other pension schemes which cannot be expected to pay ever-increasing levies to enable schemes like the BA scheme – a pension fund with a smaller company attached to it – to behave in such a cavalier manner.”