UK - KPMG has been warned not to cut employees' benefits - irrespective of the outcome of a High Court battle.
The accountancy giant went to court yesterday to resolve whether the £348m KPMG Staff Pension Scheme’s pre-2000 fund is a defined benefit or defined contribution scheme.
Until March 2000, a two-thirds pension was given to KPMG staff.
KPMG’s legal application also focused on whether the scheme can invoke a deficit clause in its trust deeds, which means that it can reduce benefits if a shortfall should ever arise – and, if so, whether it can reduce the value of pensions in payment. The pre-2000 fund currently has a £71m deficit.
Six former partners have written to KPMG chairman Michael Rake and said that if the court rules in the firm’s favour, it must make “substantial enhancements” to the benefits it offers staff.
Otherwise, they fear KPMG’s reputation – along with theirs – will be damaged as it will be profiting at the expense of its workforce.
The letter says: “We urge the board to make substantial enhancements to its likely proposals to avoid KPMG being held as greedy and dishonourable in obtaining commercial advantage at the expense of pensioners and staff.
“Former and present partners alike made pension promises in good faith to longer-serving staff, promises which could be easily met out of current profits.”
KPMG described the letter as a “private matter”.
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