Friday, 6 November 2009

Trinity Mirror ends final salary pension scheme

The NUJ has condemned Trinity Mirror for announcing the closure of its final salary pension scheme....and for telling staff about it late on Friday afternoon.
An email was sent out to Trinity Mirror staff at 4.29pm today: “Over the next few days you will receive by post at your home address details of proposals the Group is putting forward about our defined benefit pension arrangements. Whether you contribute to any of the Group’s pensions schemes or not it’s important you are fully aware of the proposals as they are designed to protect the future of our business.
"The cost of paying for the defined benefit schemes is putting an unsustainable amount of pressure on the Group’s finances. The combined deficit (that is, the shortfall of assets compared to the estimated cost of the benefits) of the defined benefit schemes stated in the Group’s accounts has risen from £37 million in 2001 to £275 million at 28 June 2009, despite extra contributions from the Group of £259 million over the same period. Stopping the build-up of future benefits, the cost of which continues to increase, would help limit the increase in liabilities in the defined benefit pensions schemes and help the Group to fulfil its commitment to pay off the current deficit.
”The Group is, therefore, proposing to close the defined benefit pension schemes to future pension build-up. Current contributing members would no longer build up future benefits in their defined benefit scheme. Instead, they would be given the choice of building up future pension benefits in the Trinity Mirror Pension Plan. We will be consulting about the Group’s proposals over the next two months with members who are affected by the proposed change.”
Paul Holleran NUJ Scottish secretary, said: "This announcement on a Friday afternoon has left many of our members shell-shocked.. The scrapping of the final salary scheme is the latest in along line of attacks on staff at Trinity Mirror and serious questions need to be asked and answered about the capability of the senior Trinity directors."

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