Shell closes final-salary scheme to new members

Royal Dutch Shell has announced plans to close its final-salary pension scheme to new members.

The oil company is the only member of the FTSE 100 to run an open final salary scheme.

The firm is proposing to develop a defined-contribution pension plan for new employees to “reflect market trends in the UK”. The new scheme is expected to be in place in the first quarter of 2013.

Current active members, deferred members and pensioners of the Shell Contributory Pension Fund and the Shell Overseas Pension Fund are not affected by the decision.

Trade union Unite condemned the move, accusing the global oil firm of “turning the screw” on its staff.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey says: “This is nothing less than greed on the part of one of the world’s richest and most powerful corporations.

“Shell has no need whatsoever to close this scheme and in the process deny its employees the safe retirement they were promised they could save for.

“Shame on Shell – for where it leads, other corporates will follow.”

Earlier this week the Association of Consulting Actuaries published research which found nine out of 10 private DB schemes are now closed. It said a third of large employers are looking to reduce the amount they spend on pensions.