News update – £60M to be poured into closed pension

Coca-Cola Enterprises is closing its defined benefits pension scheme to new employees and is making a payment of more than £60m over the next three years to clear a deficit.

Existing staff who are not already members of the defined benefit scheme have been given six weeks to decide whether or not to join up. The bottling company is also setting up a personal pension plan that will be run by Standard Life and will be open to existing and new employees. The members will be able to contribute at a minimum rate of 3%. The company will pay matched contributions plus 2%, up to a maximum of 10%. David Glynn, HR director at CCE, said: "We have had a very positive, open dialogue with our employees about the changes in pension arrangements for new employees.

Existing members will not be affected by the changes. "The new pension arrangements for new employees are designed to attract and retain talent for our business and to offer the appropriate level of support to new employees and their dependants."

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All 5,000 employees have been sent letters and been invited to presentations about the changes. CCE plans to clear the deficit in the defined benefits scheme, which has around 3,400 active members, over three years. Historically it has paid in around £10m a year and will now pay £33m for each of the next three years.

Members will be able to continue to make contributions at rates of between 3.25% to a maximum of 10% of their annual salary.