Wolfson Microelectronics closes defined benefit pension scheme

Wolfson Microelectronics is to close its final salary pension scheme to future accrual after a 60-day consultation with the 28 affected staff and has switched providers for its group personal pension (GPP) plan.

The semiconductors supplier closed its scheme to new joiners in July 2002. Four of the remaining members were elected to hear the firm’s proposals and inform the other affected members. The consultation closed on 21 March, and a decision was made to close the scheme from 30 April.

Issy Urquhart, vice-president of human resources at Wolfson, said: “The reason to close the scheme to future accrual was about managing the risk and the volatility in the market. We have a large funding deficit which we have committed to close through annual cash injections.”

During the consultation, the final salary scheme members were informed about the GPP, which switched providers from Standard Life to Scottish Widows on 1 April because of the latter’s lower charges and corollary benefits such as its corporate wrap.

Features of the new GPP include: reduced staff charges – down to 0.5% from 1%; improved online information; and member support such as investment lunch-and-learns.

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The firm’s 350 employees must make a minimum contribution of 3% to the GPP, with an employer match up to 6%. The 28 final salary scheme members will receive an enhanced employer contribution.

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