Compass Group surplus drops by £65m to £281m

The Compass Group recorded a £281m surplus for its UK group pension plan according to its interim results, a £65m decrease on its year end 2018 figures, it has revealed.

In its H1 2019 results published today, 15 May, the contract catering company said the decrease was mainly due to the reduction in yields on corporate bonds.

The rest of the groups defined benefit pension schemes recorded a £229m deficit, compared to £224 deficit at year-end 2018.

The group added that the cost of equalising guaranteed minimum pensions (GMP) had been estimated at £12m, almost half of what it had previously anticipated.

It said: “As a result, and based on actuarial advice, the Group has recognised £12m of past service costs in the income statement.

“The final cost of equalising GMP may differ from this amount once this is agreed with the pension plan trustees. This non-cash charge has been excluded from the group's underlying operating profit.”

According to its full-year results, published last November, the group said it estimated GMP to cost between 1-2 per cent of liabilities, roughly between £20m-£40m.

In April, the Department for Work and Pensions delivered its guidance on equalisation, however many are still calling for more clarity on certain issues, particularly around tax.

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