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Monday, 8 July, 2002, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Mobile phone giant denies pension risk
T-Mobile logo
One2One got its new name in April under plans for an international brand
Workers at mobile phone firm T-Mobile are at risk of losing their final salary pensions, the Amicus trade union has claimed.

It said the company has begun "picking off small groups of workers" and transferring them to other parts of its parent group, Deutsche Telekom, to save costs.

"The thousands of staff at the UK headquarters in Borehamwood face the prospect of loosing 40% of their retirement income if T-Mobile succeed in closing down the final salary pensions scheme," said Roger Lyons, Amicus general secretary.

T-Mobile, formerly known as One2One, has denied that it intends to scrap its final salary scheme, or that "thousands" of staff are involved in the current changes.

'In talks'

"We've no intention of removing the final salary pension scheme and Amicus are misleading people," Neil Lovell, T-Mobile director of corporate communications told BBC News Online.

"There are a small group of workers, who are moving from T-Mobile to another business - T-Systems," he said.

"There are negotiations with this group of people - that is why they are raising the issue."

Mr Lovell said "between 100 and 150 people" were affected by the switch away from T-Mobile.

Recognition battle

Amicus is launching a recruitment campaign at T-Mobile, urging workers to defend the final salary pension scheme.

The union, Britain's second biggest, has said it will ask the giant German trade union, IG Metall, to raise the issue of UK workers' pensions with Deutsche Telekom's supervisory board.

Amicus is also asking members of the European Parliament to investigate whether the staff transfers are legal.

Meanwhile, Amicus says it is setting out to recruit at least 50% of T-Mobile's UK workforce, the threshold for mandatory recognition by the company.

T-Mobile has 6,500 staff in Britain, about 2,000 of whom work at its Borehamwood head office in Hertfordshire.

Many firms have closed their final salary schemes to new entrants in the last year or so.

Corporate boards say a proposed new accounting standard, known as FRS17, risks making final salary schemes too expensive.

The controversial FRS17 rule, which has not yet been fully introduced, would force firms to calculate their potential liabilities for final salary schemes in their corporate accounts every year.


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