The switch from RPI to CPI for pensions indexation will give members a lower outcome over the long term but gives better consistency, Steve Webb says.
Speaking at the annual Eversheds pensions conference this morning, Webb defended his decision to change indexation after criticism from delegates.
He also insisted the legislative change is not retrospective and provides a consistent approach from government.
BA Pension Services delegate Graham Tomlin told the minister the switch was retrospective and the change had "annoyed" 30,000 pensioners in the Airways Pension Scheme.
He said the APS had been fully indexed to CPI for the past 30 years, while the New Airways Pension Scheme was topped out at 5%.
Tomlin said: "For 30 years we have been paying into a scheme for it to be fully indexed and now, with a stroke of a pen you have removed that provision.
"In one swoop you have annoyed 30,000 pensioners in the south east of England."
Webb insisted CPI gave a more consistent outcome for members, but admitted that outcome would be lower in the long term.
He said: "We are not taking away indexation.
"We are setting the floor for all schemes. RPI changes every year but I do not deny for a second CPI is 1% lower in the long term. However, it is more stable.
"It is not retrospective, it is only future revaluations which will be based on CPI."
Webb also said the switch would slash £100m from the Pension Protection Fund levy bill.
"That will reduce the burden on people running schemes," he added.
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