Royal Mail Pension Plan chief executive Chris Hogg is to leave the defined benefit scheme, IPE has learned.

He is set to take over as chief executive of the £16.6bn (€18.2bn) National Grid UK Pension Scheme, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Hogg joined the £9.8bn Royal Mail scheme in 2009 as head of funding, overseeing the transition from state ownership to privatisation. This involved the government taking on roughly £40bn of liabilities and £28bn of assets in 2012.

Following the transfer, and with Hogg as CEO, the scheme retained responsibility for benefits accrued after 31 March 2012. It held £9.8bn in assets at the end of March this year, putting it in surplus – its funding ratio was the best in the FTSE 100 at the end of June, according to consultancy LCP.

However, the company is currently locked in heated negotiations with unions about the future structure of the scheme. Royal Mail estimates that it will have exhausted its surplus by next year. It plans to close the defined benefit scheme to future accrual from 31 March 2018, but its restructuring plans have been opposed by unions.

Hogg was earlier this month elected as the new chair of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association’s defined benefit council.

At National Grid, Hogg will work with CIO Rob Schreur, who has overseen the scheme since joining in 2015 from Philips Pensioenfonds in the Netherlands. The company sold its in-house pension scheme asset manager, Aerion, to Legal & General Investment Management in the same year.

National Grid declined to comment.