Defined benefit schemes

The net pension expense before tax recognised in the income statement in respect of the defined benefit schemes is summarised as follows:

Group

2017
£m
2016
£m
Current service cost19.722.3
Curtailments/settlements3.11.1
Administrative expenses2.72.7
Pension expense charged to operating profit25.526.1
Net pension interest income credited to investment income
(see note 4)(10.2)(3.1)
Net pension expense charged before tax15.323.0

Defined benefit pension costs excluding curtailments/settlements included within employee benefit expense were £22.4 million (2016: £25.0 million) comprising current service costs and administrative expenses. Total post-employment benefits expense excluding curtailments/settlements charged to operating profit of £33.6 million (2016: £34.9 million) comprise the defined benefit costs described above of £22.4 million (2016: £25.0 million) and defined contribution pension costs of £11.2 million (2016: £9.9 million) (see note 2).

The reconciliation of the opening and closing net pension surplus included in the statement of financial position is as follows:

Group

2017
£m
2016
£m
At the start of the year275.279.2
Expense recognised in the income statement(15.3)(23.0)
Contributions paid64.358.9
Remeasurement (losses)/gains gross of tax(76.7)160.1
At the end of the year247.5275.2

Included in the contributions paid of £64.3 million (2016: £58.9 million) were deficit repair contributions of £43.0 million (2016: £33.3 million). No inflation funding mechanism payments were made during the year (2016: £nil).

Remeasurement gains and losses are recognised directly in the statement of comprehensive income.

Group

2017
£m
2016
£m
The return on plan assets, excluding amounts included in interest555.556.0
Actuarial (losses)/gains arising from changes in financial assumptions(721.4)98.1
Actuarial gains/(losses) arising from changes in demographic assumptions52.7(46.6)
Actuarial gains arising from experience36.552.6
Remeasurement (losses)/gains on defined benefit pension schemes(76.7)160.1

For more information in relation to the group's defined benefit pension schemes see note A5.

Defined contribution schemes

During the year, the group made £11.2 million (2016: £9.9 million) of contributions to defined contribution schemes which are included in employee benefit expense (see note 2).

Company

The company did not participate in any of the group's pension schemes during the years ended 31 March 2017 and 31 March 2016.