Royal Mail – pension changes must come

As a dispute shows its ugly face between Royal Mail and its staff, the postal operator has said that following the review of its member wide consultation phase that it has concluded that there is ‘no affordable solution’ in keeping the current form of the Royal Mail Pension Plan open for its frontline staff.

The consultation phase drew on feedback from the plan members as well as the Communications Workers union (CWU) and the two other major unions, Unite and SMA. It concluded on the 10th of March.

Royal Mail has released a statement today that said, “The Plan is currently in surplus but we expect the surplus will run out in 2018. The Company’s annual pension contributions are currently around £400 million. If no changes are made, the contributions could more than double to over £1 billion in 2018.

“We have concluded that there is no affordable solution to keeping the Plan open in its current form. Therefore, the Company has come to the decision that the Plan will close to future accrual on 31 March 2018, subject to Trustee approval.

“We know how important pension benefits are to our colleagues. We continue to work closely with our unions on a sustainable and affordable solution for the provision of future pension benefits. We will write to Plan members once further decisions have been made.”

Given the response from unions to this, expect a war of words to erupt after Easter and potentially, industrial action over the issue.

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