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Viernes, 31 de marzo de 2006 - 16:11 GMT
British Airways recorta costo de pensiones
Periódico interno de British Airways
BA hizo el anuncio en el periódico de la compañía.

British Airways - one of the world's largest airlines - has decided to cut pension costs by raising the retirement age of its staff. Pilots will retire at 60 instead of 55 and cabin crew will stay on with the company until they're 65. The move is the latest sign of a pensions funding crisis facing many British firms.

Mark Gregory reports.

Recent changes in accounting rules have forced companies in Britain to state much more accurately the true financial state of their pension funds. The reform has highlighted huge deficits - meaning the amount of money in pension schemes doesn't cover what needs to be paid out in future to retired workers.

British Airways is one of the firms most affected - its pension fund has a deficit of nearly two billion dollars. That's larger in relation to the value of the company's shares than any other firm in the top 100 shares quoted on the London stock market.

For months BA has been locked in tense negotiations with staff, and trade unions were threatening strike action. The arrival of a new chief executive with a tough reputation for cost-cutting further raised the stakes.

At the end of it all the company is proposing to raise the retirement age for pilots to sixty and other staff to sixty-five. The company will also inject over eight hundred million dollars of its own cash to improve the health of the pension fund.

Lots of other big British firms will be watching closely - several hundred of them have already closed their pension schemes to new members. One or two have closed their pension schemes altogether, meaning existing staff will be worse off in retirement.

The pensions crisis facing British firms is one aspect of a much bigger issue: people in rich countries are living longer so it's costing more to keep them in old age.

Mark Gregory, BBC News

accounting rules
reglamentos de contaduría, específicamente los reglamentos para documentos fiscales de una compañía

pension funds
fondo de pensión, o el dinero ahorrado para cuando una persona ya no esté trabajando cuando se jubila

reform
reforma

highlighted huge deficits
puso en evidencia el hecho de que hay un déficit, o una gran falta de dinero para cubrir las pensiones

locked in tense negotiations
estaban estancados en tensas negociaciones

were threatening strike action
amenazaron hacer una huelga; la palabra 'strike' quiere decir huelga

with a tough reputation for cost-cutting
con una reputación de cortar costos

raised the stakes
Esta expresión quiere decir que la situación ha cobrado más importancia

inject
inyectar

worse off in retirement
'worse off' en este caso quiere decir estar en una peor situación financiera; 'retirement' es jubilación o sea, aquí el texto explica que los empleados actuales estarán un una situación financiera más precaria al jubilarse



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