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Pilot Pensions

£35million win for BALPA members affected by Pension Protection Fund compensation cap

BALPA recently won a major legal victory potentially worth over £35million pounds for 170 of BALPA’s members. Our successful campaign to end the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) compensation cap was launched when ex-BMI and ex-Monarch members were left severely out of pocket when their pension schemes entered the PPF.

In July 2021, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that the PPF compensation cap is unlawful on grounds of age discrimination. It means the cap has now been removed and affected members are now   entitled to receive 90% of their expected pension under their original DB scheme with no cap applied.

Without this legal action, many Monarch and BMI pilots would have lost a large portion of their pension savings – in some cases more than 50% – when their companies were sold and their pensions went in to the PPF.

The PPF is now in the process of providing benefit uplifts for affected ex-BMI and ex-Monarch members.

BALPA’s Position

Pilots continue campaign to fight changes to the existing pension tax relief framework

Pilots feel the current pension system – including the existing tax relief framework – works. They want stability and fear any changes could undermine the system and put people off saving for their future.

BALPA believes previous reductions to the annual and lifetime allowances are already putting some higher and additional rate taxpayers off saving. Professionals are reducing their pension savings or pulling out of them altogether, a problem that would be accelerated if the Treasury decide to reduce or abolish higher rate tax relief as was mooted again only last year.

The immediate policy aim should be to restore stability and rebuild confidence in the existing pensions system by hitting the pause button on any further pension tax changes.

Virtually all BALPA members are now covered by DC pension schemes and we are working to ensure these schemes are improved as many will not deliver an adequate retirement income.

Pilots have worked with other professionals (doctors, dentists, civil servants and senior police officers) to highlight the potential consequences of reducing higher rate tax relief and protect pensions saving (both DB and DC).

More Campaigns.

Fighting the Strikes Bill

Government is trying to curb the right to strike for transport workers. Under new proposals, the Secretary of State for Transport would gain sweeping powers to set minimum service levels during strikes, removing or curtailing their effect.

This is unacceptable to BALPA and the entire trade union movement.

Read more

Supporting Pilot Licensing

The new and unfair post-Brexit licencing system means UK pilot licences have been seriously degraded in value and utility. The new state of play has actively prevented UK pilots, including those made redundant due to Covid-19, from securing UK jobs.

BALPA continues to campaign for a reciprocal Flight Crew and Engineer Licence agreement between the UK and EU, which would benefit all UK airlines. This would address the imbalance following Brexit and the Government must address it urgently.

Read more

Environment and Sustainability

BALPA wants to see a thriving future for the aviation sector in the UK, one that provides jobs for our members and mobility for our population. Yet we are in the midst of a climate crisis and have a moral and legal obligation to ensure our future is a sustainable one.

Read more

Fighting Pilot Fatigue

Fatigue has for many years been a worrying issue for pilots and it continues to be a huge concern across the industry today. Pilots have told BALPA they believe fatigue is now the biggest single threat to flight safety.

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Pilot Pensions

Pilots feel the current pension system – including the existing tax relief framework – works. They want stability and fear any changes could undermine the system and put people off saving for their future.

Read more

Protecting Pilot Mental Health

In the awake of the Germanwings tragedy there has been huge media interest in the topic of pilot health. It’s a topic BALPA takes seriously and is working to address. BALPA understands the need to ensure those suffering mental health issues, who are in safety critical jobs, must be identified, given support and monitored to ensure they do not pose a safety risk.

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Tax Relief on Self-Funded Training

BALPA is concerned that pilots are not getting the tax relief on self-funded training that we believe they are entitled to. We are campaigning for these rules to be changed. We are working with the Government, HMRC, the TUC and other professional bodies and are call for a fair system that ensures pilots, who are required by their employer to pay for vital training, can claim tax relief in a similar way an airline would if it were to fund the training.

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