INM proposes 46 per cent pension benefit cut

Media group employees face deep drop in retirement income under company plans

Independent Newspapers on Talbot street. INM is to put €60 million into its pension scheme over the next 11 years, it has told trustees, while pension scheme members will be given a 5 per cent stake in the company through the pension fund.

Independent Newspapers on Talbot street. INM is to put €60 million into its pension scheme over the next 11 years, it has told trustees, while pension scheme members will be given a 5 per cent stake in the company through the pension fund.

Sat, Jun 15, 2013, 01:02

Employees of Independent News & Media will see their pension benefits slashed by 46 per cent under proposals put forward by the company.

INM is to put €60 million into its pension scheme over the next 11 years, it has told trustees, while pension scheme members will be given a 5 per cent stake in the company through the pension fund.

The media group has been in discussions with trustees to secure a deal to reduce the deficit in its defined-benefit pension scheme, which stands at €162 million.

However, given the talks are ongoing, the restructuring proposal is unlikely to be submitted to the Pensions Board by the end of June, as originally planned.

In the event the pension scheme is wound up, active and deferred members would receive just 15 per cent of the benefits to which they are entitled, trustees were told.

INM did not comment on the proposed cuts. The group holds an emergency general meeting of shareholders on Monday to vote on the sale of its operations in South Africa and the debt restructuring deal it has reached with its lenders.

The deal, agreed in April, is designed to reduce the company’s core debt to €118 million. A consortium of eight banks, including AIB and Bank of Ireland, will write off one-third of Independent’s debt in exchange for an equity stake in the group. Denis O’Brien controls the group with a 29.9 per cent stake in the company.

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