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Royal Mail: Pensions

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what discussions his Department has had with representatives of Royal Mail Ltd. on the proposed changes to the pensions scheme for Royal Mail staff. (157266)

Royal Mail has developed its proposals on the reform of its pension scheme following discussions with the workforces’ representatives. My department received a briefing on the final proposals from Royal Mail but has not been involved in their formulation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the proposed changes to the pensions scheme on Royal Mail staff. (157267)

I have not carried out an assessment of the impact of the proposed changes to the pension scheme on Royal Mail employees. Royal Mail’s proposals document sets out how the changes would affect staff.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what his policy is on the pensions holiday taken by Royal Mail Ltd. between 1995 and 2002. (157268)

During the period 1995-2002, the pension fund was in surplus. In 2001, the fund was some 105 per cent. funded. The current deficit arose because of market changes, revised assumptions in life expectancy and the new accounting standards, which required pensions to be reported on company balance sheets. Royal Mail is now addressing the deficit through additional contributions to the fund.