Harrods: There is only one pension-fund sale
Sunday 29 November 2009
Harrods, the upmarket London retailer owned by Mohamed al-Fayed, is mulling the sale of its £200 million pension fund in a buy-out deal.
Harrods is thought to be seeking to offload its pension obligations to more than 1,000 staff by selling the scheme to a specialist insurer. A so-called buy-in deal, where certain liabilities are insured rather than sold, is also being discussed.
The company recently brought forward the review of its pension fund to consider future funding options.
A spokesman for Harrods said: “Harrods is carrying out a statutory valuation of the fund, which is normal practice every three years. However, we are bringing this forward a little to make sure the company and the pension fund is protected. We are looking at a range of options for the fund.”
Harrods is believed to be in discussions with a number of firms to take over the running of the pension fund, including Edmund Truell’s Pension Corporation. A spokesman for Pension Corporation declined to comment.
The pension fund was nearly £20m in deficit at the end of January this year, according to accounts filed at Companies House in the summer, however, the shortfall is likely to have reduced as equity markets rallied from March.
In 2006, Harrods axed its final-salary pension scheme to new entrants, instead offering staff access to a less generous money-purchase scheme. At the time, the pension fund carried a deficit of around £106m, with the company saying the open scheme “presented an unacceptable future risk for its employees and the group”.
But in April 2006, Harrods committed to plug the shortfall by injecting £90m into the fund by 2016.
Should Harrods strike a deal on its pension fund it would signal the re-emergence of the pension buyout market, which has been largely closed during the past 12 months.
But recently the market has showed signs of life when Lucida, the private equity-backed insurer led by former Prudential chief executive Jonathan Bloomer, agreed a deal to insure £500m of pension liabilities held by the trustees of the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund.
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity
Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94
Sites using the popular Gigya comment platform were attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)
- 1 Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
- 3 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 4 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado's stylist Luis Alfredo Garcia is found stabbed to death
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global Rolling Spot FX, Comm...
£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Chartered accountant (ACA or CPA), must be...
£6000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: UI De...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...