[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 19 January 2006, 16:00 GMT
Brewer calls time on free pension
Hands and money
Scottish & Newcastle has paid 200m into the scheme since 2003
Brewer Scottish & Newcastle has told its staff that they have to contribute to the company pension scheme.

The final salary pension will remain open but workers will have to pay in 6% of their salary to stay in it.

Staff who do not want to contribute will be offered membership of an alternative scheme where benefits are based on average career salary.

Scottish is the latest in a long line of firms to change its pension scheme in a bid to reduce costs.

In recent weeks, major employers including the Co-op, Arcadia, Provident Financial and Rentokil have cut back on their pension provisions.

It is well-documented that final salary schemes are under threat in businesses across the UK
John Dunsmore, Scottish & Newcastle

Employees in these firms face either paying much more into the workplace pension or seeing their final salary scheme mothballed by their employer.

Threat

Scottish & Newcastle said that since 2003 it had paid 200m into its final salary pension scheme.

In 2003, to cut costs, the firm closed its final salary pension scheme to new employees. However, 3,200 scheme members were left to enjoy final salary benefits without having to make contributions.

The brewer said this state of affairs could not continue.

"It is well-documented that final salary schemes are under threat in businesses across the UK and, indeed, our own pension fund has required significant cash injections," John Dunsmore, managing director of Scottish & Newcastle, said.

"I am therefore delighted that we have been able to find a solution that retains the final salary scheme for those who wish to remain within it," he added.

Scottish said it had consulted employee representatives and would brief staff over the proposed changes.

At the same time, the Times newspaper reported that department store group John Lewis was considering raising its staff retirement age from 60 to 65.

John Lewis refused to comment on the suggestion.


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific