UK - High street electrical rental company Box Clever Technology has closed its defined benefit option available to its former Granada employees.
The closure follows the merger of the Nomura-owned Thorn – which traded as Radio Rentals – and Granada rental businesses last October. Former employees at Thorn and Granada have had their pension arrangements transferred unchanged into the new Box Clever scheme. But now the defined benefit option will not be available for new staff.
Box Clever trustees chairman Alan Herbert said: “Granada members have a replica defined benefit section and, for Thorn, which had a defined benefit and defined contribution section, we have replicated both of those. Going ahead, we’ve got the 2001 defined contribution scheme for Box Clever which is the live ongoing scheme for new hires.”
Aon Consulting has won the mandate to administer the Box Clever scheme, which formed when members were transferred last year. Box Clever said that Aon was chosen because of its specialist department dealing with tailored schemes, which is best equipped to deal with the complex issues involved in merging the two schemes.
Last month, Granada was forced to defend the remaining part of its pension scheme, following speculation of a crisis after a £124m surplus was written off, resulting in a £60m deficit. This was partly blamed on spinning-off Box Clever, which left Granada with a significant reduction in its active members to total membership.
Separately, Nomura has been accused by a group of Thorn pensioners of wanting to take the pension fund surplus before selling off the company. Nomura said it is taking 65% of a £100m surplus to cover the liabilities of a scheme that also has few active members following the transfer of staff to Box Clever. The pensioners believe a 50-50 split would be fairer.
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