UK – Postal operator Royal Mail says it expects to report a pension deficit in its annual accounts, though it declined to comment on press reports that the fund is billions of pounds in deficit.

“I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if there’s a deficit,” said Royal Mail spokeswoman Christine Gregory. But she said newspaper reports that the 21.7 billion euro fund is up to four billion pounds in deficit under the FRS17 accounting standard were “highly speculative”.

She said the Royal Mail is currently undergoing a three-year actuarial review of the scheme that would not be complete until the autumn.

The Guardian newspaper reported the deficit would be revealed next week when the group publishes its annual accounts. It said the company may need to start pumping in up to two billion pounds into the scheme over the next decade.

Dermot Courtier, the Post Office’s head of pensions and retirement provision, recently left to join consultancy firm Towers Perrin in Bristol.
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