The BBCPA AGM 2022 was convened on 28th April 2022. The hall rapidly filled up with members which was a great sight to see after all the problems of the last 2 years. Albert Barber, Chairman BBCPA, opened proceedings by welcoming members in the meeting room as well as those watching the live stream from home. His Annual Report outlined the purpose of the Association and some of its activities, including the recent addition of a voicemail telephone number. The skills and links to other organisations which some of the Committee have were emphasised including the RTS, VLV and various other national pension organisations. Alan Bilyard, BBCPA Treasurer was unable to attend so Albert read out a statement from him. Our finances are in a healthy state. Leslie Huss-Smickler then outlined the Offers available to members including new Health Insurance and the re-introduction of Travel Insurance after the previous provider withdrew from the market. He invited members to send suggestions of other organisations where he could possibly negotiate a discount.
David Allen then introduced the 100 Voices Project and played some voice clips from the website https://100voices.bbcpa.org.uk/. including some revelations from David Attenborough about his initial training when he joined the BBC. David asked for anyone who was interested in contributing to get in touch, regardless of location: interviews have been recorded as far away as Shetland.
The Committee then stood down and was re-elected by the members attending the meeting.
After the formal business of the AGM and a tea break Albert introduced Catherine Claydon, Chair of BBC Pension Trust Ltd. She explained her background in finance and pensions, and that she is now an Independent Pensioner Trustee having previously served with BT, Unilever, British Steel and Barclays amongst others. Catherine explained that the goal of the Trust is to ensure all beneficiaries receive the benefits they are entitled to under the Scheme. It monitors the balance, provision for future costs, holds assets on trust and ensures proper administration of the scheme. . There is a Formal Valuation (like a financial health check) every three years, but it goes on all the time too, looking at the funding, investment, and covenant. They use a prudent forecast, with diverse investment and an appropriate level of risk. For responsible investments, there is a statement of intent giving environmental, social and corporate guidance. There is a focus on climate, aiming at Net Zero by 2050. A new Pensions Regulator Code (PRC) is being brought in, setting out what good looks like, with proposed targets and standards. The BBC is largely there, with its highest score of 94%. Looking forward, there will be the triennial valuation, funding plans, and a longevity risk review. Catherine apologised that she was unable to take questions as she had another meeting to attend but if members would like to send their questions she would be happy to respond. Albert thanked Catherine for her Presentation.
Our keynote address this year was given by Robert Seatter, Head of History, BBC.
Robert began by explaining that 2022 will be a year of celebration, public engagement, dedicated programming, looking forward with learning at its heart, with history and interpretation, and academic partnership. This year there are landmark events as well as the Jubilee; such as Music with Glastonbury and the Proms; Sport with the Commonwealth Games. David Dimbleby will present “A Very British History”; Connie Huq will present “Here’s one I made earlier”. Past Rewind will dip into the radio archive. There will be dancing, sport, and Dr Who will be used as a metaphor for BBC re-invention. Learning will be at its heart, opening the archive for education. There is a project called “Share your Stories” in secondary schools, creating the next generation of story-tellers. There is a project with the Science and Media Museum at Bradford called “Switched on”; there are 1000 digitised Objects; showcases and trails in London and Manchester. The BBC100 website offers History and Interpretation, with a dynamic timeline, 100 Objects, 100 Faces and 100 Voices. They are looking for more audience memories. View it @ https://www.bbc.co.uk/100
Robert said that the anniversary can be used to remind the public what the BBC is about, and the video trailer “This is Our BBC” had been developed to give the message. After some audience questions and thanks to Robert, Albert closed the meeting.