§ Mr. Gould
asked the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will list the stages through which moneys, ultimately paid out to those existing members of the British Airways pension scheme who elect to receive a cash payment in respect of termination of their membership of the scheme, will pass; and if he will make a statement;
(2) by what authority British Airways is informing employees who agree to get out of the existing pension scheme that cash payments received will be tax-free; and if he will make a statement;
(3) by what authority British Airways is negotiating with existing employees concerning their rights under the existing pension scheme;
(4) what contributions Her Majesty's Government will make to the cost of buying out rights under the existing British Airways pension scheme.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
The arrangements British Airways makes for pensions for its employees are the board's responsibility: they do not require my approval. British Airways has now closed the airways pension scheme to new entrants and has opened a new airways pension scheme for those joining the airline on or after 1 April this year and for any members of the APS wishing to transfer. The opportunity to transfer ends on 30 June. Those wishing to remain members of the APS are free to do so. The terms on which members may transfer from the APS to the new scheme and the implementation of those terms are matters for British Airways, except insofar as the law requires clearance with the Inland Revenue or the Occupational Pensions Board. The Government are making no financial contribution.