UNISON enters talks with National Grid over pensions

UNISON has entered talks with National Grid and the other unions to negotiate an improved offer on proposed defined benefit pension settlements.

The company is proposing two options: to cap future pensionable pay, with no increases in members’ contributions; or to increase members’ contributions, with a higher pensionable pay cap of 3%.

UNISON has many concerns about these options, and is seeking to improve any offer before a ballot of members is proposed.

“We are arguing for increased company contributions, harmonisation of benefits and minimum investment returns on pensions savings so that future risk is shared, not simply born by members,” said national officer Matthew Lay.

“We have real worries about the impacts of inflation on the final pensionable salary,” he said. “UNISON will continue to fight for the best overall settlement alongside the other National Grid trade unions.”

National Grid is worth nearly £30bn 17 years after it was first listed on the Stock Exchange. Its chief executive announced that future dividends to shareholders will be in line with inflation, while a recent interim payment was 4% up on the previous year.