UK - Distribution company Wincanton has closed its £280m final salary scheme to new members and will open a money purchase scheme in April.
Wincanton closed the scheme to new members on December 31 following a review carried out in the second half of last year. The scheme had a £21.9m deficit as of March 2002.
Wincanton director of communications Charles Carr said the decision was due to lower investment returns, increased longevity and the government’s abolition of tax credits.
The firm’s new money purchase plan will offer varying contribution levels which will be matched by the company.
Trade unions, though, are disappointed by the move and are pushing for a better deal.
Wincanton’s 2002 annual report showed that the final salary scheme was 104% funded under SSAP24 and 90% funded under FRS17.The firm is currently awaiting the full results of an actuarial review on the scheme.
Preliminary results prompted the scheme to change its asset allocation from 80% equities and 20% bonds, to 60% equities and 40% bonds in March.
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) is in the process of convening an industry-wide group to take forward the work of the Institutional Disclosure Working Group (IDWG).
The Transfers and Re-registration Industry Group (TRIG) has given its support to an initiative which aims to complete occupational pension transfers within three weeks.
Scottish Widows has completed a bulk annuity deal for the Hitachi UK Limited Pension Scheme.