News update – Drugs firm revamps plan rules

Boehringer Ingelheim is making changes to its pension arrangements in response to pensions simplification.

The pharmaceuticals manufacturer, which has around 900 employees, runs two pension schemes – a closed defined benefit scheme that is non-contributory and a defined contribution (DC) scheme.

Employees in the DC scheme are now able to contribute up to 50% of their salary to their pension each year. It is also giving members of both schemes the option to draw their pension benefits from the age of 50 with the company’s consent. The normal retirement age for both schemes has remained at 65 years.

June Taylor, pension and benefits manager at the company, said: "The maximum [DC members] could contribute before was 15% [of salary]. Employees don’t have to do anything. They can stay as they are or they can contribute more if they wish."

She added two employees had already given notice that they would like to draw their pension and continue working. The company is also considering allowing staff to make pension contributions through salary sacrifice in the future.