BA to raise pilot and flight attendant retirement ages


Nov 15, 2005
British Airways (BA) is raising the retirement age of its pilots and cabin crew and plans to make a payment of £500 million ($875 million) into its pension scheme in moves aimed at clearing a £1 billion pensions deficit.

The Oneworld alliance carrier is one of numerous leading UK companies struggling with its future pensions provision and has been consulting staff for the last few months on possible solutions.

It says in a statement that the normal retirement age of pilots will increase to 60 from 55 while for cabin crew it will increase to 65. It adds that if various countries’ restrictions on older pilots flying and overflying are removed then its pilots’ retirement age will increase to 65. Staff will still have the option to retire before normal retirement age but on a smaller pension.

BA will also adjust accrual and contribution rates as part of its plan to cut its “past service actuarial deficit†in its New Airways Pension Scheme of £1 billion. It will also make a payment of £500 million into the scheme “after the changes are acceptedâ€, and says the proposals follow an “extensive staff communications programmeâ€.

“If changes to the scheme are not introduced the deficit and level of future service contributions are expected to grow because people are living longer and long-term interest rates remain low,†says the airline.

Flight Global