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Morrisons to launch new pension scheme

Morrisons has announced that it is to launch a new “cash-balance” pension scheme for October 2012 that will provide its employees with a guaranteed pension fund at retirement.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Morrisons to launch new pension scheme

The supermarket said the cash balance scheme will be "more understandable" for staff than the existing defined contribution plan and will provide them with a predictable pension pot when they choose to retire. 

Morrisons said the risk of being in the scheme will be shared between the company and its employees with Morrisons guaranteeing the pension pot payable at retirement when members typically purchase an annuity. 

The scheme will be open to all permanent employees whose contribution will be at least matched by Morrissons and held in the new scheme. Morrisons said it will manage and underwrite the investment to produce a guaranteed fund  for employees on retirement, irrespective of fund performance.

Group HR director Norman Pickavance said: "We are developing this innovative pension scheme because our aim is to build strong longer term relationships with all our colleagues. 

"Providing a trustworthy predictable pension is our way of showing our commitment to our colleagues throughout their career and into retirement. I believe this approach will set us apart and help ensure that colleagues will stay with us for the long term."

The  supermarket said it had researched various pension options and concluded that it needed to offer a more understandable and predictable pension than a defined contribution scheme if it was to encourage more employees to save for their retirement.

John Hannett, general secretary of shopworkers union USDAW said: "USDAW has been very concerned about the pensions of shop workers and so the announcement by Morrisons that it is to offer our members the opportunity to guarantee their pension fund, when they choose to retire, is something we wholeheartedly support.

"We will work with Morrisons to help members understand what this scheme means for them and help them participate to invest in their future."

Morrisons will be launching a campaign to encourage its 131,000 employees to sign up for the  scheme. The campaign will be led by personal finance adviser and TV personality Alvin Hall.

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