NETHERLANDS – Dutch airline KLM has confirmed that it is discussions with the unions about pensions – and that career-average pensions are on the table.

“Could be,” said KLM spokesman Bart Koster when asked if career-average pensions were among the airline’s proposals to the unions.

He said the company has just begun meeting the unions and that it was “too early to say anything specific” about its proposals.

“Financing pensions getting more and more expensive,” Koster said. “We want to discuss with the unions how to change the system to make sure we can finance it.” Koster said the talks would not necessarily mean higher employee contributions.

Any shift in pension arrangements would be part of a series of measures designed to cut KLM’s labour costs and improve productivity and flexibility, Koster said. He said the airline has no target for the amount it will save. “There is no figure.”

KLM is currently in talks about tying up with another airline, believed to be either Air France or British Airways.