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Royal Mail: Pensions

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many pension contribution holidays Royal Mail and its predecessors have taken in each year since 1980; and if he will express in current prices the monetary value of each contribution not made. (249629)

[holding answer 20 January 2009]: The Post Office (now Royal Mail Group Limited) suspended employer contributions to one of its schemes, Post Office Staff Superannuation Scheme (POSSS), with effect from 1 April 1990. Reasons for suspending included the impact of changes in tax law to the treatment of “excessive surplus”. Contributions to the POSSS recommenced on 1 April 2003.

There is no single answer for the possible accumulated current value of the suspended contributions as it would involve the need to make complex assumptions over the period since 1990, based on decisions taken by a number of interested parties.

I have therefore asked the chief executive of Royal Mail, Adam Crozier, to provide a direct reply to my hon. Friend supplying further detail around the contribution holiday.

A copy of the response will be placed in the Libraries of the House.