Summary and background
85.Part 2 of the Act gives power to the Secretary of State to remove historic pension liabilities from the Royal Mail and transfer them to government. In particular, the Secretary of State is given power to:
establish a new statutory scheme which may be used to provide benefits to certain members of the Royal Mail Pension Plan (“RMPP”);
transfer rights and remove liabilities from the RMPP;
transfer assets from the RMPP to the government;
divide the RMPP into sections and to allocate assets and liabilities between those sections.
86.When exercising the powers conferred by this Part, the Secretary of State must ensure that the pension provision in respect of anyone in the RMPP (or who has benefits transferred to the new statutory scheme) is in all material respects at least as good immediately after the power has been used as it was before that use of the power (section 20). This protection covers existing members of the plan, their dependants and contingent beneficiaries and beneficiaries who are already in receipt of death benefits. In addition, where the Secretary of State transfers assets to the government the ratio of assets to liabilities in the scheme after the transfer must be at least as good as the ratio before any assets transfer and attendant transfer of benefits (section 22).