BT turns to fresh blood to fix pension problem

British Telecom has appointed a new chairman to its troubled pensions department, as it seeks to overturn a near €4.5 billion deficit in the fund.
Paul Spencer will take over the BT Pension Scheme from March 1, replacing Rod Kent whose time has been marred by the continuing deficit problems.
Spencer, a veteran of pension management, is already a trustee and member of the BT fund’s audit committee.
He will be tasked with continuing to reduce a deficit that fell from £5.7 billion (€6.6 billion) at end-March 2010 to £3.8 billion by end-September.
UK regulator Ofcom last month barred BT from raising its wholesale connection fees to help cover the hole in the pension fund, rejecting the carrier’s claims that it was out of step with other European regulators by failing to account for additional costs the telco incurred to service the shortfall.