UK - Plugging the pension shortfall for more than 300 UK workers would be like ‘throwing money down the drain', German printing firm Felix Schoeller claims.
The company said it did not feel it was necessary to pay any more money into its UK scheme, which closed in 2002 with a £12.5m FRS17 deficit.
Without additional payments, more than 300 workers of the £25m Glory Mill Pension Scheme stand to lose up to 90%of their savings.
The scheme was 117% funded on a minimum funding requirement basis when it closed and Felix Schoeller has no legal obligation to plug the shortfall. It has pledged to set up a benevolent fund for members who have been most affected.
Spokeswoman Friederike Kalthoff said: “We are not going to pay any large amount of money into the scheme.
“That fund has been underperforming for years now, it would be throwing money down the drain to put more in. But we are a very socially-minded company and we try to care for our workers and former workers.”
Her comments outraged private sector union Amicus, which says talks broke down when the company outlined its alternative solutions.
Amicus official Brian Gallagher said the union had written to Felix Schoeller rejecting the proposals.
He added: “We are not going to let this go. We’re going to bring as much pressure and embarrassment on to the company as we can. This is a very rich firm and they can afford to pay this.”|
Kalthoff said the company was surprised when Amicus said it was not willing to discuss any other option other than giving a large amount to the pension scheme.
She added: “We wanted to widen the discussion. If there are real cases of hardship we are prepared to talk about them and look at solutions we could offer these people on an individual basis.”
But she stressed: “We’re not talking about handing out lots of small cheques in place of one big one.”
The firm said it was still willing to talk with Amicus and hoped to continue discussions.
In this week's Pensions Buzz, we want to know if The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is taking the right approach by naming and shaming schemes which breach their auto-enrolment (AE) duties.
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