POST OFFICE: DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION SCHEME (RMPP) – HISTORICAL ERRORS MADE BY POST OFFICE
Branches and our Post Office members are advised of a serious matter that has been brought to our attention by Post Office. This issue is specifically in regards to the Defined Benefit Pension Scheme (Royal Mail Pension Plan – RMPP) which closed in March 2017 and there is absolutely no impact on the Defined Contribution pension scheme administered by Scottish Widows.
Post Office has, for a number of years, incorrectly calculated how some pay and/or allowances should count towards the pension members have built up in the RMPP. Therefore, Post Office has provided some incorrect pay information to the Pensions Service Centre (PSC) where the pension scheme is administered. We understand that extensive work has been undertaken over the course of the last year by Post Office to analyse the cause of these errors, for what duration this has occurred for and exactly who is impacted (as this does not affect all members of the RMPP). This analysis is still ongoing and we are advised it is not completed as the errors potentially go back a number of years.
It is essential that no RMPP scheme member panics or worries about this unfortunate situation as we have absolute commitments from Post Office and the RMPP Trustee that ultimately nobody will receive a pension less than they are entitled to. However, both CWU and Unite have pressed Post Office into being open and transparent with scheme members about these mistakes they have made and consequently they are communicating on the basis of letting members know what has happened and crucially what they are doing to rectify these problems. In this regard, the following communications (attached to this LTB for your information) are being sent to RMPP scheme members over the coming days:
- Post Office communication via a “One Update” from Angela Williams, Interim Group Chief People Officer
- RMPP Trustee communication (to home addresses)
- Joint CWU/Unite letter
To understand this position better, it is imperative that our members in the RMPP read all three of these letters together.
Who is Going to Pay for These Errors?
In our opinion the answer is simple – Post Office has made these errors and is culpable and therefore should pay to rectify the problem by using its own money to pay for the mistakes.
Hands off our Members’ Pension Surplus
Post Office is currently putting forward the position that it needs to find out exactly how much it is going to cost to put right these mistakes before making any decisions. We believe this is completely irrelevant. This is money the company should have paid in contributions to the scheme for our members over the years and hasn’t. Both CWU and Unite have made it clear to Post Office that under no circumstances should the pension “surplus” be used to rectify these errors as in our view the surplus is the members’ money, ring-fenced for distribution to the members at a time and via a method agreed by the Trustee.
As outlined in the attached Joint letter to members, CWU and Unite are calling upon Nick Read to face up to his responsibilities by committing Post Office to augment the scheme to pay for the errors it made. I’m certain that anything less would be unacceptable to our members.
If Branches receive enquires from Post Office members in relation to this LTB, please redirect these to firstname.lastname@example.org
Further developments will be reported.