Construction company Skanska UK is to launch a defined benefit scheme and a defined contribution scheme for its 2500 staff.
The approximate £100m Skanska Pension Fund is launching the two schemes following the firm’s acquisition of Norwegian construction company Kvaerner in November 2000.
All contributions to the DB scheme will be invested in a “temporary house” until the scheme has completed its fund manager selection, which is expected by autumn.
The DB scheme will be open to all staff over 30 while the DC scheme is available for the under 30s.
Skanska Pension Fund chairman of the trustees Robert Wallace said the pension scheme was the principal concern of the firm’s staff following the acquisition of Kvaerner.
“We have responded to those concerns and we will, by the autumn, have an excellent defined benefit and defined contribution scheme in place.”
The scheme has been confirmed by the Inland Revenue as the first pension fund to seek approval under chapter four of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 as amended by the Finance Act 2000.
The chapter was introduced in April and enables a scheme to operate all its tax conditions under to personal pensions and stakeholder regulations, rather than occupational schemes.
The Inland Revenue said the measure was introduced to give employers operating money purchase schemes greater choice as to which tax regime they want to operate in.
The main difference between the two regimes is that chapter one schemes – which occupational schemes operate under – have to be administered by applying maximum limits on benefits that may be paid to members. Under the chapter four regime schemes have no limits on the benefits they can administer.
Independent consultant Lynn Ellis has acted as the schemes’ temporary pension scheme manager and will stand down with the arrival of her permanent successor, Philipa Smith, tomorrow after which the schemes will also officially open. Ellis will remain within the scheme as a trustee.The fund’s actuary is William M Mercer, its consultant is Lane, Clark & Peacock and its administration is outsourced to Capita Hartshead.
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