BP Pensioner Group takes legal action in pensions value dispute

BP increases pay for 5,000 employees to reach living wageThe BP Pensioner Group has begun legal action against senior members of BP management and directors of the BP pension fund trustee due to concerns around the value of 2,500 members’ pensions.

According to the BP Pensioner Group, the dispute is about decisions made by BP and the pension fund trustee in 2022 and 2023. It stated that these include the former chief executive officer (CEO), Bernard Looney, rejecting the trustees’ recommended cost-of-living increase to the pension and blocking an increase in line with the cost of living over a period of two years, which it believes has led to an 11% fall in the value of the pension in real terms.

Earlier this month, BP’s new interim CEO Murray Auchincloss offered a one-off £2,500 hand-out to affected pension scheme members, but the group did not accept it, arguing that it does not put right the previous decisions.

As a result, the group has appointed solicitor Andrew Spink and law firm Stephenson Harwood and confidential legal letters have been issued to senior members of BP management and directors of the BP pension fund trustee.

The letters are based on statements and other evidence over a period of time by both BP and the trustee and require them to explain why increases have been provided at lower levels than they could have been. The trustee has also been asked to reconsider pension increases and liaise with BP on appropriate ones.

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Mike Slingsby, spokesperson at BP Pensioner Group and former senior manager at BP, said: “It is a matter of deep regret that after seven months of innumerable letters, emails and telephone calls, neither BP’s leadership nor the trustee chairman have seen fit to hold a single direct conversation or meeting with the pensioner group, which represents some 2,500 members of the BP pension fund. This has forced us, reluctantly, to take formal legal steps against the company that we served loyally for much of our careers and lives.”

BP has been contacted for comment prior to publication.