Pension Liaison Meeting 2017

Upcoming Pensioners’ Liason Meeting 2017
September 21, 2017
Equal Pay for Equal Work
January 15, 2018

Pension Liaison Meeting 2017

The Pensions’ Liaison meeting with the BBC Pensions Trust took place on Thursday 26th October 2017 from 11am – 1pm.

Venue: BBC Council Chamber
Broadcasting House, Portland Place
London. W1A 1AA

With the portrait of Lord Reith looking down on the meeting it seemed that this year’s meeting would take on a different tone.

 The formal meting at last year’s PLM in the BBC Concert hall gave way to a much more informal assessment to BBC pensions  in the historic Council Chamber in Old BH.

At the start of the meeting Bill Matthews, Chair of the Board of Trustees, gave an optimistic outlook for the pension and the Pension Trust Ltd.’s work in the past year. He thanked Sandra Phillips for all her work as Secretary to the Trustees he also introduced and welcomed the new secretary, Rachel Hallett.

Ian Cutter, Head of Pension Shared Services in Cardiff, gave an outline of the new style and presentation to members ranging from the new style Prospero to On-line access for members to their pension details. Despite changes at the BBC, the paternal benevolence of “Aunty” BBC seems still to have some legacy in BBC pensions with a move towards offering a better and more accessible service. The Visitors scheme, mentioned by Ian, shows that the Trust provides an excellent BBC link and is of a great comfort to older members. Prospero has already been given a makeover and other improvements will be completed with full online access to all by December this year.  Suggestions submitted on line are welcomed and improvements will be added. as time goes by.

Phil Gillman, Pension Investment Manager, gave an account of the investments and said that returns from 2012 to this year had provided for the fund value to rise from £9.3 bn to £15.8bn. Over the past year alone the increase of 24.1% against an average benchmark of 19.9% was good news for the BBC Pension fund.

Investments in Equities has reduced whereas Purchase of Bonds have gone up. Bonds, although slightly higher in value against Gilts are fairly evenly split roughly at 40%/40%, with 20% investments in other areas of the market. Overseas investments in dollars are keeping strong.  With uncertainty in Europe the pound is less stable against the Euro. The increase of funds on investment this year of nearly 25% against a benchmark of 19%.

Holdings include UK Bonds, Amazon, Alphabet, Tencent, Facebook, and Tesla Motors.

Providing the BBC contributes to the Scheme on average £195m per year it is estimated that the deficit will be eliminated by 2028. The predicted inflation rate of 3% had come earlier than anticipated and may well go higher but with no real certainty in world events including BREXIT no one really knows.

The figures overall, against other investors and other pension investors does put the Pension fund in good health.


Rostam Kilgour, the Member Nominated Trustee gave an outline of why he had become a Trustee. He felt that he was a link between the members and the BBC. In outlining his career he said he had started in BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and worked towards being a News Director today for BBC News in London.

He showed a video of a News at Ten broadcst with studio talkback to illustrate his present job.

Questions from the floor highlighted more a need to increase involvement between the Pension Trust and its pensioners. Many feel the need to remain connected to the BBC.  In light of some of the questions asked, it also seems that many in the audience did not know that the BBCPA does much towards this requirement. It should also remind us that with our mailings, our website and the four mailings per year plus the New Monthly E-mail Newsletter we do much. We should recruit more members so we can further our and the Trust’s aims of involvement with pensioners. Another question which crops up each year is a list of ex staff who have died in the last year. Again, not a full list but we publish names of our members who we say farewell to each year. Security and Home Security for older members was asked about. Here once again the BBCPA helps members and papers are available at the AGM plus the Membership Secretary can be called direct.

Ian Cutter answered a question on the security of the online access by members and said that it was as secure as possible and based on the BBC’s very secure system.

An old chestnut, Ethical investment. Phil Gilllman said that they do an annual search to check investments in this respect.

The meeting closed at 13.00

Picture: L to R  Ian Cutter, Phil Gillman, Rostam Kilgour, Bill Matthews.

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