Royal Mail has appointed a new chair of its pension trustees to take over from Jane Newell from next month, Joanna Matthews.
Newell steps down after nearly eight years as chair of the Royal Mail Pension Trustees Ltd, which oversees Royal Mail’s defined benefit pension plan, one of the largest pension schemes in the UK with 121,000 active members.
Matthews is currently Chair of a number of pension schemes including the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme, Mirror Group Pension Scheme and Siemens Pension Scheme.
She was previously a partner specialising in pension law at Sacker & Partners.
Jon Millidge, the Royal Mail Group company secretary, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be appointing a Chair with such comprehensive experience and expertise. We look forward to working with Joanna and the members of the Trustee Board to manage the future of the Royal Mail Pension Plan in the best interests of its members.
Matthews has been a trustee for a number of pension schemes since 2006, overseeing funds worth billions.
Earlier this year Royal Mail had its legacy pension liabilities – worth around GBP 28bn – taken off its hands by the government, so the universal service provider can compete against rivals that have entered the market since liberalisation in 2006.
Before the legacy pension transferred to the UK government, the Royal Mail plan covered 425,823 people, with GBP 30.7bn of assets.
Matthews said: “The pension solution was a very important moment in the Royal Mail Pension Plan’s history. I am very much looking forward to joining the Trustee team and playing my part in managing the plan’s future.”
Newell has been chair of the Royal Mail Pension Trustees Ltd since January 2005, and is also currently trustee of Age UK, Vice-President of the Pensions Archive Trust, a Governor of the Pensions Policy Institute, Vice-President of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Patron of Hillcroft College and a Justice of the Peace. She previously chaired a number of major pension schemes and is also Chair of the Royal Mail Defined Contribution Plan.
Millidge said: “We would like to thank Jane Newell for her unwavering support and commitment to the Royal Mail Pension Plan during her tenure, specifically with regard to securing the pension solution, which has provided a more certain future for the plan and its members.”
Prior to the split of the pension, the year to March 2012 saw the Royal Mail pension achieving only around half its benchmark return.
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