UK - Workers at Northern Foods have agreed to increase pension contributions to save their £430m final salary scheme.
Member contributions have increased from 5% to 7% for staff on a 1/60th entitlement and from 3.5% to 5% for those on a 1/80th pension.
And workers are no longer able to take early retirement at 60 without incurring penalties.
Pensions manager Peter Croskin said: “The changes were received very well because although no-one likes paying higher contributions, people are pleased that the final salary scheme is continuing.”
The Northern Foods’ scheme is invested 80% in equities and little change is expected when results of the triennial review are revealed at the end of the year.
Croskin said: “You can never say never, but we believe a final salary scheme is the best way of providing pension benefits for Northern Foods.”
Amicus pensions officer Bryan Freake said that while the union was unhappy about the move, which it regards as a pay cut, it had its positive aspects.
“It does leave the door open so that in better times we can reclaim some of the lost ground, rather than just throwing the whole thing overboard and members losing the guarantees.”
Other companies which have asked employees to increase contributions to save their schemes this year include Stagecoach and Toyota.
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