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Government acts to protect Openreach employee pensions

Manny Pham
March 14, 2017

32,000 employees will crossover to Openreach in the separation from BT

The Government has moved to protect the pensions of 32,000 staff moving from BT to Openreach to clear the legal path for the separation.

Ministers today proposed an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill introducing power to maintain the ‘Crown guarantee’ pension plan for the BT employees, who are crossing over to Openreach.

The move follows Ofcom’s announcement on Openreach, BT’s telecoms infrastructure arm, will be separating from its parent company. Openreach is currently recruiting a new board, it will allot its own budget and revise strategies.

Secretary of state for culture, media and sport Karen Bradley said: “The legal separation of Openreach is important for delivering better broadband for consumers throughout the UK.

“A more independent Openreach which treats every broadband provider fairly should increase investment, bolster competition, and help give the country the connectivity it needs.

“This amendment clears a hurdle identified by Ofcom by allowing the Government to maintain pension protections for BT Pension Scheme members who transfer to Openreach. It will help secure the voluntary separation of BT and Openreach and provide peace of mind to affected workers.”

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