National Express DB pension deficit falls to £90m

The combined deficit for the National Express defined benefit (DB) pension schemes has fallen by over £20m, from £116.8m in 2018 to £90m at 31 December 2019.

The group's financial report confirmed that deficit contributions were approximately £8m per annum until 2020, with a further £7.8m in contributions expected in this year.

The company agreed a three-year annual deficit repayment plan in 2017 with the trustees of the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority Pension Fund, which ends in March and has an average contribution of £7.7m per annum.

The West Midlands Bus Plan (WM Bus Scheme) deficit has also fallen by over £20m to a £99.1m deficit (£127.3m in 2018).

Whilst the group also saw a slight decline in pension assets, falling from £14.9m in 2018 to £14.2m in 2019, its liabilities also decreased from £131.7m to £104.2m.

National Express has two principal plans; the UK Group scheme, which closed to new accrual in 2011, and the WM Bus Scheme, which remains open to accrual for existing active members only.

The past year also saw the group pay £10.3m in operating costs for the scheme, with the majority (£6.4m) used to fund the defined contribution schemes.

The Group Pension Scheme, which had a £14.2m surplus at 31 December 2019,also completed an insurance buy-in transaction with Rothesay Life in October 2018.

Although the transfer process for this is still ongoing, the company has no obligation to make any payments and has not included the scheme in its DB pension liabilities or assets.

Commenting on the financial report, National Express Group chief executive, Dean Finch, commented: "Revenue and profit are up strongly and free cash performance has beaten our expectations. All businesses have delivered organic growth.”

    Share Story:

Recent Stories


Making pension engagement enjoyable through technology
Laura Blows speaks to Nick Hall, business development director and Chartered Financial Planner at UK-based Wealth Wizards about the opportunities that technology provides for increasing people’s engagement with pensions and increasing their retirement wealth. Please click here for an edited write-up of the video

ESG & DC – creating the right tools
In the latest of our series of Pensions Age video interviews Francesca Fabrizi, Editor in Chief of Pensions Age is joined by Manuela Sperandeo, Head of Sustainable Indexing EMEA, BlackRock and Mark Guirey, Executive Director, Asset Owner and Consultant Coverage - MSCI to discuss some key trends of ESG investing among UK pension funds today. Please click here for an edited write-up of the video

Savings and finance at retirement
Laura Blows is joined by Claire Felgate, Head of Global Consultant Relations, UK, at BlackRock, to discuss savings and finance at retirement. Please click here for an edited write-up of the video

Global equities and transition investing
Pensions Age editor, Laura Blows speaks to Royal London Asset Management equity investment director, Jonathan Price, about transitioning to sustainable investments within global equities
Cost transparency
Pensions Age editor, Laura Blows, discusses investment cost transparency and savings with Aon’s Neil Smith and Chris Hawksworth. Please click here for an edited write-up of the video

Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement