Announcement

Independent chair of the Royal Mail Statutory Pension Scheme appointed

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Mr Pickering is Chairman of BESTrustees, and Former Chairman of the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) and European Federation for…

Mr Pickering is Chairman of BESTrustees, and Former Chairman of the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) and European Federation for Retirement Provision (EFRP).

His appointment is a key step towards the transfer of Royal Mail’s historic pension liabilities from Royal Mail to Government. Subject to the European Commission’s approval of state aid, the RMSPS - a new public sector pension scheme - will assume the bulk of Royal Mail’s historic pension liabilities. Alan Pickering will chair the governance group that will monitor the RMSPS.

Mr Pickering will take up his post before the RMSPS is formally constituted on 1 April 2011. He will be supported by a governance group comprising representatives of the trade unions and members of the pension scheme, Royal Mail, Post Office Limited and Government.

Postal Affairs Minister Edward Davey said:

“I am pleased that Alan has agreed to become the independent chair of the Royal Mail Statutory Pension Scheme governance group. He is an expert on pensions and will offer strong leadership to the governance group.

“I look forward to working with him, and the governance group, as they work for the interests of the members of the new Royal Mail Statutory Pension Scheme and ensuring that they receive a seamless service.”

Alan Pickering CBE said:

“Having grown up in York where many postal workers and their families were my friends, it is an honour to have the opportunity to play my part in ensuring that those who have been involved with this wonderful service enjoy the pension peace of mind that they deserve.

“I know that all of the stakeholders have been working very hard to provide a seamless transition from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the new government-backed scheme, the Royal Mail Statutory Pension Scheme (RMSPS).

“Representatives of these stakeholders will be my colleagues on the RMSPS governance group, and I look forward to being a member of their team.”

**Notes to Editors **

  1. Biography of Alan Pickering CBE:

Alan Pickering is Chairman of BESTrustees and of the financial literacy charity Life Academy. He is Chairman of the Plumbing Industry Pension Scheme and serves as a trustee of a number of other large schemes. He is a non-executive director of The Pensions Regulator having previously been a member of the Occupational Pensions Board. He is a past Chairman of the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) and the European Federation for Retirement Provision (EFRP). His Government sponsored report “A Simpler Way to Better Pensions” was published in July 2002. He is a member of the Rules Committee of the British Horseracing Authority.

  1. Mr Pickering’s responsibilities will include:
  • Chairing quarterly meetings of the RMSPS governance group, comprising member representatives including unions, the legacy employers and government representatives, and serve as the forum’s leader.

  • Providing feedback to senior stakeholders, including government ministers, on the operation of the RMSPS. The chair will need to maintain the group’s independence, as well as trust and respect across the industry, and provide an authoritative voice for the group.

  • Ensuring effective communication with members and handling any media interest.

  1. Alan Pickering will be supported by a governance group. Membership will comprise the trade unions (the Communication Workers Union and Unite-CMA), the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, a pensioner member representative, Royal Mail, Post Office Limited and Government officials.

  2. The Postal Services Act 2011 allows Government to take on responsibility for Royal Mail’s historic pension deficit to help facilitate a sale of shares in Royal Mail and secure the future of the universal postal service. The RMSPS, a new public sector pension scheme, will assume the bulk of Royal Mail’s historic pension liabilities. Royal Mail will be left with a smaller, fully funded plan. All of the 427,000 members of the RMPP will have some rights in the new RMSPS: all pensioners and deferred benefits will transfer to the RMSPS while active members’ benefits will be divided between the two schemes. The RMPP will remain responsible for future accrual.

  3. BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.

Notes to Editors

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