Agreement on implementation and funding of new PostNL pension arrangement

The Hague – PostNL, the trade unions Abvakabo FNV, BVPP, CNV Publieke Zaak and VPP and Stichting Pensioenfonds PostNL have reached an agreement on the execution and funding of the pension arrangement as proposed by PostNL and the trade unions in December 2012. Intensive dialogue has taken place between the parties since December of last year, during which the interests of all parties involved were considered carefully and equally to arrive at a future-proof pension arrangement and funding.

The intended effective date of the new pension arrangement is 1 January 2014. The arrangement represents a balance between a stable pension accrual for participants and a maximisation of the premium for PostNL. Part of the arrangement is an increase in the retirement age to 67 years, a higher accrual percentage and a lower franchise compared to the current pension arrangement. The amount over which pension is accrued is increased as a result. Based on the total maximum premium amount, the intended pension accrual of 2.0% can be increased or reduced in any year. The new pension arrangement is laid down in an agreement in principle, which will be submitted to the members of the trade unions for approval.

Limited top-up payment obligation

The unlimited PostNL top-up payment obligation for deficits in the pension fund will be limited in two phases. During the period of 2014 up to and including 2018, an annual maximum of 1.25% of the pension obligation of the pension fund applies, supplemented with a conditional budget of a maximum of €300 million, to be used to prevent cut-backs in that period. Starting in 2019, only the annual maximum of 1.25% of the pension obligation will apply. In determining the limited top-up payment obligation, the resilience of the pension fund will be taken into account in the future.

Suppletion of coverage deficit

Part of the agreement in principle is the suppletion of any coverage deficit by PostNL by the end of 2013, for that part for which PostNL is responsible. PostNL is to supplement the amount required until the amount reaches €150 million in order to compensate for the implementation of the limited top-up payment obligation.

The unconditional commitment of €150 million and other possible commitments required from the conditional budget of €300 million are payable from the moment PostNL pays out dividend, but at latest 10 years after the moment the amounts have become unconditional, in all cases with a payment term of 5 years as from that date.

"We have achieved a good balance in our shared objectives in terms of the sustainability of the pension arrangement, with clarity regarding the funding and certainty for PostNL employees, inactive participants and pensioners. The effects of the agreement in principle have been examined for all stakeholders and are acceptable to the parties," state the parties in a joint response.

Stichting Pensioenfonds PostNL is executing the arrangement for PostNL and TNT Express. With the agreement achieved, the arrangement and funding for PostNL and TNT Express diverge to an increasing extent and, consequently, the TNT Express pension policyholders agreements will be separated and transferred into a separate pension fund for TNT Express pension policyholders. The intended separation depends on a final agreement and will take place in early 2014.

In case of any discrepancies between the English and Dutch versions of this press release, the Dutch version prevails.