Sainsbury’s CEO pension allowance to match workforce's

Incoming Sainsbury’s chief executive, Simon Roberts, is set to receive a pension allowance in line with the benefits received by the supermarket chain’s workforce.

Roberts, who has been appointed to succeed the outgoing Mike Coupe from 1 June, will receive 7.5 per cent of his £875,000 base salary as annual pension allowance.

This compares with the 30 per cent pension allowance and £900,000 salary enjoyed by Coupe when he took the supermarket chain’s top job in July 2014.

Executive pensions have faced increased scrutiny since September, with the Investment Association (IA) cracking down on companies that have failed to align executive pension pay with their workforce.

The IA has told companies that they must pay all executive directors the same pension contribution levels as the majority of their workforce by the end of 2022, or risk shareholder action.

Directors who are paid more than 25 per cent of their salary as a pension contribution will be given a 'red top', the IA’s highest level of warning, if they do not have a credible plan to reduce contributions to the level enjoyed by most of their staff by the end of 2022.

Last week, the IA issued a ‘red-top’ notice to WH Smith after the retailer revealed its chief executive, Carl Cowling, was receiving a pension contribution of 12.5 per cent of his salary.

The trade body has previously released guidance for firms looking to align their contribution rates, leading Santander, Standard Chartered, Barclays and Lloyds to cut the pension rates of their executives.

Commenting on Roberts' appointment, Sainsbury's chairman, Martin Scicluna, said: "I am delighted to be able to confirm Simon Roberts as Mike's successor.

"Simon has been extremely effective during his three years at Sainsbury's, leading our store teams through great change in that time.

"I would like to congratulate Simon on his appointment; I and the board are looking forward to working closely with him over the coming years."

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