GeoPost to launch GPP and improve pensions governance

EXCLUSIVE: GeoPost UK will replace its stakeholder pension scheme with a group personal pension (GPP) plan and introduce a pensions governance committee ahead of its auto-enrolment staging date of May 2013.

The logistics firm has 4,500 employees, 2,300 of whom are in a stakeholder pension scheme that has been provided by Friends Life since 2007.

There are still 280 staff in a defined benefit (DB) scheme, which has been closed to new entrants since 1999.

The governance committee, which will launch in September 2012, aims to remedy the fact that the firm has strong governance for its DB scheme population but does not do as much for the DC scheme members, said Debbie Morey, compensation and benefits manager at GeoPost UK.

“Since 2007, we have had no governance on the current stakeholder scheme,” she said.

“Most employees are in the stakeholder scheme, with a small group still in the DB. There is the concern that we are doing a lot of work for the minority and not a lot for the majority.

“The review is around getting the governance committee in place and working with the committee to review the performance of the scheme.”

GeoPost UK is also introducing a GPP to help it comply with auto-enrolment, and has met with provider Aegon to discuss its options.

It plans to introduce the GPP in early 2013 to replace its stakeholder pension, and roll out a series of communications between January and March.

The pensions review, conducted by Lorica Employee Benefits, follows a re-broking exercise that has generated cost savings of £175,000.

Re-broking began in May 2010, when the firm saved £92,000 on its private medical insurance costs after switching broker to Lorica.

It then re-broked its critical illness and life assurance benefits in June 2011, producing total cost savings of £83,000.

“It was an opportunity to cut our costs,” said Morey. “We re-broke every two years, so we will look again in summer 2013.”

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