UK - The government has announced it will set up a new public Royal Mail pension scheme - the liabilities of which are to be met by the taxpayer.
Part two of the Postal Services Bill - announced in Parliament yesterday - enables the Secretary of State to establish a new public scheme which will pay benefits to members who are or have been qualifying members of the Royal Mail Pension Plan.
This payment of member benefits will be dependent on pensionable service under the RMPP up until a qualifying time - to be determined at a later date - and the transfer of qualifying accrued members' rights into the scheme.
The RMPP has about 440,000 members and as of 31 March last year an actuarial deficit of £10.3bn.
The bill also allows for payment of transfer values into the scheme, the transfer of money purchase benefits under the RMPP - and the conversion of those benefits into benefits under the scheme.
In terms of the scheme's assets, the Secretary of State may by order make provision for the transfer to: the Secretary of State; a nominee of the Treasury; or a fund established by the Secretary of State for the purpose of holding the assets pending their disposal.
In May last year, the Postal Services Bill was met with controversy as it proposed the government transferring about £29.5bn of existing RMPP pensioner liabilities to the new public scheme and receive £23.5bn of the scheme's assets in order to "partially offset" the cost of the move.
Last month, Richard Hooper - who conducted an independent review of the UK postal services sector 18 months ago - reiterated his view the government should take responsibility for the Royal Mail's pension deficit.
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