When BT was privatised in 1984, a Crown guarantee was provided which guaranteed BT’s pension liabilities in the event of bankruptcy. The guarantee only covers pensions of those employed at the time of privatisation in the event that BT’s assets are insufficient to finance its pension liability towards these employees. New rules relating to pension funds, introduced by the UK government in 2004, impose minimum funding requirements on pension funds and a charge payable to the Pension Protection Fund. However, funds that benefit from a Crown Guarantee are exempt from these requirements. The European Commission (Commission) has opened an in-depth investigation into whether this exemption breaches State aid rules because it may confer a financial benefit to BT. Interested third parties have been invited to submit comments.
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Commission investigates BT’s Crown pension guarantee
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