LONDON, April 13 (Reuters) - Britain's Royal Mail said on Thursday it would close its defined benefit pension scheme at end-March 2018 after a review found it would need to more than double annual contributions to over 1 billion pounds ($1.26 billion) to keep the plan running.
Royal Mail, the British postal service privatised in 2013, said it was one of only a few major companies that still had employees in a defined benefits scheme, a type of pension that pays out according to final salary and length of service.
The company, which pays around 400 million pounds a year into the scheme, said it was currently in surplus, but it expected the surplus to run out in 2018.
"We have concluded that there is no affordable solution to keeping the Plan open in its current form," the company said. ($1 = 0.7956 pounds) (Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton)