UK - Logistics company Exel has confirmed it will close its £1.6bn final salary pension scheme to new members from April.
The company – which will replace it with a money purchase plan – said it needed to “protect the interests of current beneficiaries of the scheme”.
It also attributed the move to its desire to simplify pension arrangements, following the merger of Exel and Ocean Group in May 2000.
The company confirmed claims by the Transport and General Workers’ Union’s national secretary for road transport, Danny Bryan, that the scheme had been on a pensions holiday since 1988.
But it staunchly denied Bryan’s claims that it had “regularly raided the fund to pay for restructuring”.
An Exel spokeswoman said: “The pension fund has always always adopted the highest standards of accounting practice and taken a prudent and cautious view on its management.”
The latest figures available from Exel show that as of December 31 2001 the group’s pension schemes had an aggregate FRS17 surplus of £491m.
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