For anyone who joined the BBC before 1996, the Television Tax provides a generous pension:
Example Retires at 55 after 30 years service on final salary of £60,000After decades of overmanning, gold-plating, empire-building and staggering inefficiency, the vast bloated Soviet bureaucracy that is our national broadcaster has accumulated a terrifying pension liability on the most generous of terms - with some 17,000 staff in the pipeline entitled to this 'old' pension. The pension fund is forecast to be £2bn - £3bn short. With a freeze on the TV Tax and a falling payroll, the ability of current staff to pay for previous staff diminishes alarmingly. In fairness, they can't apply cuts retrospectively. Thus it's looking more and more likely that these obligations can only be met by diverting broadcasting budgets.
30/60ths x £60,000 = £30,000 at age 60
4% reduction for early retirement at 55
You get £28,800 a year
It may be that the only longer term option is to form a vehicle to inherit all the pension liabilities of the BBC, and sell-off most of the rest of the broadcaster to the commercial sector, retaining only World Service radio and News 24 / Parliament TV, to boost the pension fund.