The BBC is to begin its review of executive pension top-ups to tackle a £2 billion deficit.
Mark Thompson, general director at the corporation said the Funded Unapproved Retirement Benefit Scheme (FURBs) will be reviewed “on the principle that pension contributions should be… fair and consistent“, during an internal meeting at the firm.
FURBs were put in place in 1989 after a cap was introduced on pensionable incomes of over £123,000 – the top-ups were meant to provide executives with the money they would have received before the changes were implemented. The pensions top-ups for 10 executive board members currently costs the BBC £646,000 a year and the complete removal of the benefit scheme could save the corporation thousands of pounds each year.
Last month the firm announced that the whole of its pension plan schemes will be overhauled. At the time Mr Thompson said: “We recognise this is painful, and it does mean a change from past expectations. But look outside the doors of Television Centre and Broadcasting House at the rest of the world, at the public sector. Times are tough for everyone and pension arrangements, across the public sector, are going to be looked at very hard over the coming months”.
He added: “Everyone in the BBC has got to recognise that we cannot be exempt from a fundamental change in the British economy and in the expectations of the public.”
Unions have called for a strike over the actions and have sent ballot papers out to staff.