AUSTRIA - The Austrian airlines group AUA is considering halting payments to the Pensionskasse in a bid to save money.

"We are currently discussing with workers' representatives a pension contribution holiday as a possible part of a number of HR measures," an AUA spokesman confirmed to IPE.

He stressed no final decisions have been made as yet but added pension contribution holidays in times of crisis are allowed under occupational pensions law.

Around 8,000 employees of the airlines group could be affected by the measure though no further figures or details have been disclosed.

Austrian Airlines outsourced its pension liabilities to a multi-employer fund in the mid-1990s and today the group is a client of Austria's largest Pensionskasse VBV.

The group has paid around 3% into the pensionskasse for its employees since while pilots get 4%.

Both rates were set to be increased by one percentage point from 2009, according to the 2007 accounts of the airlines group.

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