BA and Lloyds in pension row

LLOYDS has been told by an increasingly irate staff union to issue a formal guarantee it will keep its final salary pension scheme open for existing members, ahead of its high-profile shareholder meeting today.<br /><br />This came as British Airways admitted last night all options remain open over its pension deficit, boosting fears it will close its final salary scheme to its 100,000 existing members.<br /><br />Lloyds&rsquo; biggest staff union, LTU, has said the pension plan&rsquo;s 30,000 members should be able to continue to participate in the scheme, and has commissioned actuarial firm Lane, Clark and Peacock to calculate possible losses if the scheme were shut.<br /><br />This comes after Barclays, a rival UK bank that has also struggled to remain afloat during the credit crunch, this week said it will close its scheme to existing members to slash costs. Final salary schemes guarantee a set pension payout on retirement based on annual pay &ndash; regardless of whether market conditions affect a firm&rsquo;s ability to deliver the payout.<br /><br />Lloyds said yesterday it has no plans to close the scheme to existing members currently, but the union has been briefing its members that the bank&rsquo;s assurances are not firm enough.