BT’s pension deficit increases to £3.1bn

BT Group’s final salary pension scheme deficit has increased from £1.9 billion to £3.1 billion since March 2012.

The telecommunications firm published the figure in its financial results for the second quarter and half year to 30 September 2012.

The higher deficit reflects the impact on liabilities of a reduction in the discount rate used by its valuation, partially offset by a reduction in the retail prices index (RPI) inflation assumption, and a reduction in the long-term assumption for the difference between RPI and consumer prices index (CPI).

A spokesperson for BT Group said: “This is purely an accounting figure and doesn’t affect our deficit repair payments, which were calculated as part of our triennial review.”

In March, BT agreed to pay a lump-sum payment of £2 billion into its final salary pension scheme to halve its deficit. The payment will be followed by nine payments of £325 million in March of each year from 2013 to 2021.