6. Exceptional items

Pension credit(a)42.1
Pension charge(b)(6.3)
Sale of property development stock(c)9.1
Associated tax charge(9.4)

There were no exceptional items during the current year. Last year's exceptional items were as follows:

  1. The Group reviewed the operation of the defined benefit section of its pension plan. From November 2012, the future accrual of benefits for remaining employee members is based on pensionable earnings at that time, rather than final earnings. This change gave rise to a one-off accounting gain of £42.1m last year.
  2. A tranche of pensions in payment were subject to a buy-in arrangement in 2012. The contract also allows for the buy-in to be converted to a buy-out, and steps are being taken to proceed on this basis. Accordingly, the transaction was accounted for as a settlement, with the £6.3m accounting charge presented in the income statement as an exceptional item.
  3. The Group sold its last remaining stock from its property development activities for £15.0m last year which had a book value of £5.9m. The £9.1m gain was presented as an exceptional item because of its size and non-recurring nature.