BT share price heads south as group suffers setback in pension overhaul

High Court shoots down telco’s attempt to change pension scheme index

BT share price heads south as group suffers setback in pension overhaul

Shares in BT Group (LON:BT.A) have fallen into the red as the telco suffered a setback in its efforts to overhaul its pension scheme. The former telecoms monopoly reported that the High Court had rejected its attempt to change the index for pension increases.

As of 10:35 GMT, BT’s share price had given up 1.16 percent to 263.90p, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.20 percent higher at 7,716.08 points. The group’s shares have given up just under 30 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with an over seven-percent rise in the Footsie.

BT suffers pension setback

BT said in a statement today that the High Court had handed down a judgement to the company, rejecting the telco’s attempt to change the index used to calculate pension increases paid in the future to members of Section C of the BT Pension Scheme (BTPS) from the Retail Prices Index (RPI) to another index.

“We are disappointed with the decision and will now consider the judgment in detail in order to decide next steps, including the possibility of an appeal,” the former telecoms monopoly said in the statement.

Valuation continuing

The telco noted that its triennial pension valuation was continuing, with conclusion expected in the first half of the current year. BT is also continuing the review of the future pension benefits under its main defined benefit and defined contribution schemes in the UK.

Today’s setback comes after BT suffered another legal blow earlier this week, with Phones 4u winning a court battle in a campaign by its administrators to extract £120 million in unpaid commission from EE.

BT is scheduled to update investors on its third-quarter performance on February 2.

As of 10:59 GMT, Friday, 19 January, BT Group plc share price is 263.20p.

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