Trinity Mirror to close final salary pension scheme

Trinity Mirror is to close its final salary pension scheme to existing members due to the increased cost of providing the service.

The publisher, which owns five national newspapers including the Mirror and the Sunday Mirror alongside a string of regional titles, announced late last week the move was necessary as its pension fund deficit had risen from £37m in 2001 to £275m by June.

The decision was communicated across the publishing group via an email memo late on Friday. It said the company would implement the change after a two-month consultation with its staff.

Trinity Mirror closed the scheme to new members in 2003 but said the state of the financial markets, new regulations and rising life expectancy made it necessary to implement the change to existing members.

The group’s 3,000 active members will now be offered the change to change onto a “defined contributions scheme” where pension payouts will be related to the amount paid in rather than a fixed amount relating to an employees salary at the end of their career.

The move was condemned of the National Union of Journalists.

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.”

Trinity Mirror issued a statement this morning: “Closing these schemes to future accrual would help limit the increase in liabilities in the defined benefit pension schemes and help the group to fulfil its commitment to eliminate the current deficit.”

Express Newspapers’ plan to close its final salary pension scheme to existing members emerged last October with that publisher similarly claming that the scheme was proving too costly to maintain.

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