UK - Shipping group Maersk has promised to give Sea-Land Service Pension Plan members any minimum funding requirement surplus that would otherwise be used for wind-up costs.
The move – which the company sees as a goodwill gesture to members who face having their pension entitlement cut by 60% – comes after trustees told Sea-Land members that the scheme was funded marginally above MFR.
But the offer has further infuriated scheme members who argue that it Maersk has a legal obligation to pay for the wind-up if there is not sufficient money in the scheme.
Maersk – which took over Sea-Land in 1999 – previously claimed that its move to pay the £500,000 wind-up costs for the £6.4m final salary scheme would “sweeten the pill” for members.
OPAS chief executive Malcolm McLean said: “According to MFR regulations, amended in March, the calculation of MFR has to be guaranteed to meet all pensions in full, transfers values and wind-up costs.
“Wind-up has to be met by the company but not at the expense of transfer values.”
Maersk said the value of its offer would depend on “the exact progression of the MFR position between the commencement of wind-up and its completion”.
Any surplus over MFR would be distributed among members and not used to supplement the wind-up costs.
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