WH Smith set to close final salary pension scheme

High street retailer WH Smith plans to shut its final salary pension scheme.

The move would affect about 2,000 workers who are members of the scheme, which has been closed to new recruits since 1995.

The company said the move would bring all staff pension arrangements in line. New employees have since been offered membership of a cheaper money purchase version.
WH Smith said that the costs of continuing to run a final-salary scheme would be “high and difficult to predict”.

It estimated that it currently has a £41m pension deficit, and will need to pay in a further £50m during the next five years to fund it.

The change would affect staff who work in the shops as well as those in the newspaper distribution business.

WH Smith was one of the first big employers to close its pension scheme to new joiners.

Earlier this week, staff at broadcaster ITN announced a strike over plans to change its pension schemes.

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