BT Pension Review

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BT Medical Retirement, RITIE, Sick Pay

19 May 2018

Following on from the Agreement on Pensions and Pay there are three issues which relate to BT Personnel policy and processes for BT Pension Scheme members. These issues do not apply to existing members of the BT Retirement Saving Scheme (BTRSS).

Medical Retirement

With the BTPS closing for future service from 30 June 2018, the Agreement (paragraph 6.7) includes the following transitional arrangements.

BT is prepared to operate a transition period for any Team Members in pensionable service on 30 June 2018 who are in the process of being considered for medical retirement. Where the process for consideration for medical retirement has started but isnít completed by 30 June 2018, BT will apply the BTPS medical retirement arrangements that apply for a retirement from active membership should such a Team Member subsequently be certified by BTís Chief Medical Officer for medical retirement on completion of that process. From July revised medical retirement arrangements will apply in line with the Agreement, including early payment of BTPS benefits on medical grounds.

Therefore, for any personal case that might become a medical retirement case, Branches should ensure if possible that the medical retirement process is started before the end of June.

Retirement in the Interests of Efficiency (RITIE) After the BTPS closes for future service there will still be the option of accessing BTPS benefits under RITIE terms based on benefits accrued at 30 June 2018. The Agreement states in Paragraph 8.3:

The current BTPS retirement in the interest of efficiency (RITIE) arrangement will not be replicated in either the BTRSS or new Hybrid Scheme. Where a BTPS Team Member does not meet the criteria for medical retirement BT will consider these on a case by case basis and where agreement is given by BT to RITIE, BTPS benefits will be paid with no actuarial reduction using BTís augmentation powers under the BTPS Rules. Therefore, Branches should still consider whether RITIE is appropriate in line with current processes when dealing with personal cases.

Sick Pay at Pension Rate

Once the BTPS closes for future service Sick Pay at Pension Rate (SPPR) will no longer be available once normal sick pay arrangements are exhausted (paragraph 6.5). However, for those drawing SPPR at 30 June we have agreed the following approach with BT.

  • Individuals will continue to receive SPPR on a discretionary basis for up to 6-months at which time individual cases will be reviewed.
  • BT will enrol anyone in receipt of SPPR into BTRSS from 1 July. This will ensure they are covered by the associated benefits of BTRSS.
  • BT will pay the relevant transition payments into their BTRSS accounts which will activate their account.
  • While in receipt of SPPR, BT will not contribute standard BTRSS employer contributions or deduct BTRSS employee contributions from their SPPR
  • If the individuals return to work in future BT will give them the option to backdate pension contributions and be credited for the period that they have missed.

There are less than 30 people currently claiming this benefit, including non CWU represented grades.