UK Government to Guarantee Portion of BT Group Pension Deficit

April 24, 2006 ( - UK telecom company BT Group has said that the British government will guarantee an estimated 75% of its four billion pound pension deficit.

MarketWatch reports that the “Crown Guarantee” underwrites the retirement benefits of 262,000 pensioners should the firm go bankrupt. The guarantee applies to members of staff and retirees who joined BT’s final salary pension plan prior to its privatization in 1984, but does not apply to the 97,000 pension plan members who joined since.

BT reported a pre-tax deficit of some four billion pounds last December, and that number is expected to increase as the company reveals more to analysts in the coming weeks, according to MarketWatch.

Meanwhile, BT also said its regular review into the company’s pension obligations will not be released until some time after full-year results are released on May 18.   The company said pension trustees are looking into the implications of recent pension regulations. The review is performed every three years.