Unilever plans to close final salary pensions scheme

Unilever has announced plans to close its UK final salary pensions scheme to existing members.

The final salary scheme has been closed to new members since December 2007.

Unilever will enter into consultations with staff and unions from June for a 90-day period.

The household goods firm has proposed a new arrangement that will see existing members of the final salary scheme offered a two-part scheme consisting of a defined benefit (DB) career average plan plus a defined contribution (DC) investing plan with effect from 1 January 2012.

Amanda Sourry, chairman of Unilever UK and Ireland, said: “Unilever is committed to being a sustainable company in everything it does and its pension arrangements are no exception.

“The changes have been proposed to help tackle the increasingly unaffordable and unsustainable costs associated with Unilever’s UK pension fund. The proposals have been designed to be balanced and flexible, with the aim of ensuring that all our staff can continue to expect a valuable and competitive pension benefit into the future.

“Going forward, one of the principles we want to establish is that both the responsibility and risks involved in saving for retirement are more equally shared between Unilever and its UK employees.

“Like many other organisations which have already taken similar action, we must face up to this difficult issue now so we can continue to work to ensure Unilever remains a winning and competitive business in the UK.”

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