UK- Aon has announced plans to cut employer contributions to its UK pension by up to half as part of its plan to tackle the recession.
It has started a two-month consultation with staff on the changes.
Aon UK chief executive Peter Harmer told Global Pensions: "We are reducing the level of our contribution for some of our older age brackets. We are saying to staff, if your retirement saving is important to you and your pension is the primary way of achieving these savings and you are prepared to invest in those savings, we will also invest."
He said the matching scheme would allow employees to put themselves back in their current - or a better - position, but only if they contributed more.
He explained in the older age brackets - above 50 - everyone has to put in 2% and the company puts in 6%. At various age brackets you can put in additional 2%, 4% or 6% and the company will meet those additional contributions.
Harmer added: "It does mean that some staff, to get the full benefit that we are offering, will have slightly less take home pay themselves whereas pensions are a tax effective way of saving for your retirement.
"Emphasis here is that we will co-invest along side employees, but we need to make sure the money we are spending on our employees is actually valued by our employees. We need to create the flexibility to pay for performance, we need to move progressively towards more variable compensation which reflects the people's financial contribution to the firm."
Harmer said the approach recognised employees want to retain their pay to allow them to make choices.
However, the Trades Union Congress general secretary Brendan Barber said: "This is a triple pensions whammy. Staff first lost their salary related scheme, next saw their pension pots fall as shares crashed and now face what is in effect a choice between a salary cut or a further pension cut.
"The worry will now be that other employers take advantage of the ease in which defined contribution pension schemes can be cut."
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