"When someone signs up to a company with a defined benefit plan, surely they need to renegotiate the employment contract to change that?"
You'd have thought that, wouldn't you, based on fundamental principles of justice which are obviously optional for corporate lawyers and indeed for career Blue Labour politicians.
Anyway, the UK subsidiary of US outfit Goodrich tried something similar in 2008; the proposal was as usual to close the DB scheme.
To cut a long story short, the brothers and sisters didn't like the management's proposal, Unite members followed due procedure, a very brief strike (and an overtime ban) followed, and everyone who was in the DB scheme (sadly, non-union scumbags included) still has the benefit of the DB scheme.
21 February 2008
Workers at aerospace company Goodrich have clinched a deal on pensions today following a one day strike held on Monday 28th January and a continuous ban on overtime.
Whilst the union is disappointed that the final salary scheme will remain closed to new entrants, a ground breaking deal has been reached that will secure the scheme for existing members going forward. The company has guaranteed that it will not make any changes to the scheme for the next 5 years.
Unite national officers, John Rowse and Bernie Hamilton say, "Unite is disappointed that new staff will no longer be eligible to join the final salary pension scheme. However, the scheme remains open for existing staff and the union has clinched a ground breaking deal with Goodrich which guarantees no changes to the scheme for at least the next five years. This is an industry first and to date is virtually unheard of."
Increases in contribution rates have been agreed but will be phased in over two years. The cost of the increase will be partly offset by two instalments of £250 over the two year period.
Goodrich employs 1600 staff based across the country.