Post Office drops pension 'incentive'

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THE Post Office has been forced to withdraw a proposal to pay members of its staff pension scheme a pounds 50 'incentive' to have their pensions paid direct into a bank or building society account instead of through a post office, writes Rosie Waterhouse.

The suggestion to divert payments away from post offices, which was made in a letter to pension scheme members last month, was described by one sub-postmaster as a 'stab in the back' which would deprive small and rural sub-post offices of a large source of business. It would also make them more vulnerable to closure if post offices were privatised.

The letter from the post office staff superannuation scheme manager offered a pounds 50 bonus, so long as the application form was returned within one month.

After an immediate outcry from sub-postmasters, the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters protested to the Post Office.

A spokeswoman for the union said: 'After internal representations, the federation understands this initiative has been withdrawn.'