Anstee questions BT pension protection

Guarantees by the government over its protection of BT’s pension fund
liabilities if the telecoms giant collapsed have been overestimated, according
to ICAEW chief executive Eric Anstee.

Anstee, who served as commercial accountancy adviser to the Treasury between
1983 and 1986, has argued that the level of protection the government affords to
BT’s pension liabilities if it went insolvent is less than previously

‘I think it is a lot, lot less than the three quarters suggested by the
company,’ Anstee told the Daily Telegraph.

Following BT’s privatisation in 1984 protection was offered for its pension
liabilities, which currently stand at £28bn, however, Anstee said the level of
activity within the business over the last 20 years would require the level of
protection to be reevaluated. He also suggested the guarantee might begin before

BT disagreed with Anstee’s comments.

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