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BBC and unions reach 'in-principle agreement’ over pension dispute

Move is expected to lift the threat of further strikes at the BBC

The BBC and journalists' unions have reached an " in-principle agreement " to resolve the dispute over staff pensions.

The move is expected to lift the threat of further strikes at the BBC.

Following talks at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) between the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), other broadcasting unions and the BBC, the corporation is understood to have agreed to upgrade pension contributions by up to 4 per cent a year.

Lucy Adams, the BBC People director, said in a staff e-mail that discussions between joint employee unions and the BBC reached a conclusion and an in-principle agreement was signed by the joint unions on this final outstanding point.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said the agreement would be communicated to the staff representatives on Friday.

The BBC had twice provided concessions on its proposed pension plans following strike threats from the unions.

The BBC's June proposal to revalue the career-average benefit pension by 2.5 per cent was rejected by all unions.

However, its proposal to increase new career-average benefit pensions each year by 4 per cent or by the rate of inflation, depending on which is the lower figure, was accepted by four unions including Bectu, but was rejected by the NUJ.