UK - Brewing giant Scottish & Newcastle is expected to increase its pension scheme contributions after revealing a £523m deficit.
The firm – the UK’s biggest brewing firm – will consider the move in a bid to shore up the £1.2bn Scottish & Newcastle Pension Fund’s after the FRS17 shortfall was revealed in its interim accounts.
The deficit is up from a £187.6m liability at the end of April 2002 and follows the firm’s decision to double contributions to £80m from April to December this year.
Head of pensions and executive remuneration Ray Martin said the firm would wait for the results of an actuarial valuation due out in February before it made any decisions.
He added: “Increasing contributions is an option, but we will have to see those results before we make any changes.
“The equity markets have picked up, so they may decide to leave it.”
The fund – which comprises a career average scheme, introduced at the beginning of 2003, and a final salary element, which is closed to new entrants – is non-contributory for members.
And Martin stressed that S&N was not considering introducing member contributions to the scheme.
The firm blames the burgeoning deficit on falls in the equity market, poor contracting-out rebates and rising costs.
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