Britvic closes defined benefit pension scheme to future accrual

Soft drinks giant Britvic has closed its UK defined benefit (DB) scheme to future accrual for active members.

The scheme was closed to new entrants in August 2002. Current members will move into the defined contribution (DC) scheme for future benefits.

The latest formal actuarial valuation for contribution purposes was carried out as at 31 March 2007 with a further valuation carried out at 31 March 2010 currently being finalised.

Following the conclusion of the previous tri-annual valuation, the final annual payment of £10 million contributions in respect of the funding shortfall was made by 31 December 2010.

The IAS 19 valuation of the pension scheme, as at 17 April 2011, is a deficit of £15.3 million, a reduction from the year end deficit of £85.3 million.†

According to Britvic’s interim results, this is driven by the underlying market conditions on which the valuation assumptions are based, including an increase in the discount rate used from 5.05% at the year end to 5.50% at 17 April 2011 and a curtailment gain of £17.7 million arising due to the closure to future accrual of the defined benefit section.

The overall reduction in the present value of benefit obligations was £43.2 million while the UK plan asset values increased by £26.9 million.

In Northern Ireland, the Britvic pension plan was closed to new members on 28 February 2006, and since this date new employees have been eligible to join a stakeholder plan.

The latest actuarial valuation for this scheme was carried out as at 31 December 2008, and as a result shortfall contributions of £90,000 per month until 31 December 2010, and £125,000 per month from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2019 are being paid in accordance with the recovery plan.

In the Republic of Ireland, employees continued to participate in a number of pension schemes following the acquisition until transferring into two newly formed pension plans called the Britvic Ireland Defined Contribution Pension Plan and the Britvic Ireland Defined Benefit Pension Plan on 1 September 2008.

Both plans are held under trust and operated by Britvic Ireland Pension Trust as trustee. The first formal actuarial valuation was carried out at 31 December 2009 and is being finalised.

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