IA issues ‘amber top’ warning over De La Rue executive pensions

Banknote printer De La Rue has become the latest firm to be caught up in the row over the level of pension contributions received by its top bosses, it has emerged.

According to a Sky News report, the Investment Association (IA) has issued an ‘amber top’ alert on the firm’s pay report after it revealed its chief executive Martin Sutherland had £132,000 paid into his pension pot, equating to 30 per cent of Sutherland’s base salary.

The amber warning is one away from the IA’s highest warning, the red top, which it uses as part of its Institutional Voting and Information Service (IVIS) in order to aid shareholders voting decisions.

In February, the IA published guidelines that said it will target companies paying newly appointed directors pension contributions at rates above the majority of their workforce.

Executive pensions has been under the spotlight in recent, months, with HSBC executives bowing to pressure from the IA, while both Lloyds’ and Standard Chartered executives have been hauled in front of the Work and Pensions Select Committee over their remuneration packages.

The Sky News report added that Tate & Lyle, the food ingredients producer, has also been amber topped by the IA.

De la Rue and Tate & Lyle are both set to hold their annual meetings this week.

It follows a poor period of performance for De La Rue, after it lost the contract to produce Britain’s post-Brexit passports, while it is still awaiting an £18m bill to be paid by the Venezuelan government.

The FTSE-250 company’s share price has fallen by nearly 45 per cent over the past 12 months, leaving it vulnerable to a takeover bid.

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