United Utilities pensions closure plan rejected

Unions at North West utilities firm consider next steps after rejecting plans to close final salary scheme to all staff

UNISON members working for United Utilities are considering their next steps after rejecting the company’s plan to close its final salary pension scheme by next spring.

Under the company’s plan, all staff would move from a ‘defined benefit’ final salary pension to a ‘defined contribution’ bought pension scheme after 31 March 2016.

Although the final salary was closed to new entrants in 2006, it still has more than 2,200 active members, who would lose out under the company’s proposals.

The joint trade unions – UNISON, Unite, GMB and Prospect – held consultative ballots of their members, which returned 96% to 97% rejections.

The company is carrying out a 60-day consultation, which started with a meeting on16 November, where the joint unions presented their consultative ballot results.

The unions are now considering their next steps, including possible industrial action ballots.