UK - Telecoms giant British Telecom (BT) has confirmed talks with its trustees and unions to overhaul its BT final salary pension scheme - the largest corporate pension scheme in the UK.

A spokesman confirmed talks have been underway with the trustees of the £40bn (€50.3bn) scheme and with union officials since May "to make sure our pension schemes are sustainable for the long-term".

Changes are said to include raising the retirement age from 60 to 65, raising employee contributions and basing benefits on the average salary earned before retirement rather than their final salary.

The spokesman stressed BT has no intention of closing any of its pension schemes. 

"In fact, this review is taking place in order to protect the schemes and its members. No final decision will be taken without further consultation with the unions and the trustees," he concluded.

The news  follows a profits warning from BT  last Friday's after poor performance in its global services unit, which in turn sent its shares 19% lower.

Andy Kerr, deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), confirmed the parties had been in discussions over BT's pension arrangements, though denied these talks are linked to the company profit warnings.

Kerr added: "Negotiations on these issues have been protracted and difficult, but we expect to make a joint announcement on the details of the review next week."

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Carolyn Bandel on +44 (0)20 7261 4622 or email