AkzoNobel ploughs £550m into UK pension schemes

Global paint manufacturer AkzoNobel contributed £550m (€639m) in cash payments to its UK defined benefit pension schemes following its triennial review, it has revealed.

According to the firm’s Q1 2019 results published last month, £290m (€332m) of top-up payments were made into the ICI Pension Fund and AkzoNobel Pension Scheme, while a further £129m (€161m) was paid “in accordance with the previously agreed recovery plans”.

The group also contributed £142m (€161m) into a third-party trust, to be paid into the AkzoNobel pension scheme.

The top-ups resulted in the group recording net pension surplus of £775m (€900m) across its pension plans at the end of the first quarter, on an IAS 19 accounting basis, up from the £344m (€400m) recorded at year-end 2018.

AkzoNobel’s funds were also boosted by higher asset returns in key countries, offset by lower discount rates.

Last year, the group was under sustained pressure to contribute more into is pension schemes, after Dutch employees took industrial action over the issue.

The strikers, led by the trade union FNV Process Industry, were looking for additional payments of €400m and an extension of the existing social plan to be extended until 2022.

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