An agreement covering 7,600 UK employees of food and drink giant Nestlé has been agreed with the GMB and Unite trade unions.
The agreement (which is subject to trustee approval) will safeguard the future of the company’s career average defined benefit scheme.
Members of the trade unions GMB and Unite voted overwhelmingly to accept the package after a year’s negotiations.
The deal also includes a two-year three per cent pay rise for production workers for 2016 and 2017 designed to lessen the impact of the increased contributions for employees.
Unite national officer for food and drink Julia Long said: “This pension package, accepted overwhelmingly by the workers, secures the future of the career average pension scheme, which a year ago was under threat.
“A lot of hard work went into safeguarding members’ pension provision at Nestlé at a time when company pension schemes in the UK are under a great deal of pressure.”
Stuart Fegan, national officer for GMB said: “It is important that members of GMB and Unite voted overwhelming in favour of the agreement which will safeguard their deferred pay for years to come.”
Dame Fiona Kendrick, CEO & chairman of Nestlé UK & Ireland: “The matter of pensions is hugely important to Nestlé and that’s why it was imperative that we undertook a comprehensive and wide ranging consultation process on the changes that we proposed in July 2015.
“We have always been serious about listening to our employees and working closely with the trade unions. We are pleased union members have accepted the revised company position on pensions (subject to trustee consent) which includes retaining a core defined benefit arrangement.”
The Nestlé employees affected work at UK head office in Gatwick, York, Dalston in Cumbria, Fawdon in Newcastle upon Tyne, Girvan, Halifax, Tutbury and Buxton in Staffs, Rickmansworth, Welwyn Garden City, Bromborough in Wirral, Staverton near Trowbridge, Sudbury in Suffolk, Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, Aintree and Brunswick Business Park in Liverpool.
The main points of the package include:
· a career average defined benefit pension based on an 80th accrual for all existing members
· introduction of a salary cap for defined benefit pensionable earnings of £45,000 indexed to the consumer price index
· normal pension age linked to state age of retirement
· closure of the scheme to new Nestlé employees from 1 July 2016, but giving those current Nestlé employees, who are not currently members of the defined benefit scheme, a final opportunity to join.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.