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Friends Provident closes pension scheme

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Life insurance giant Friends Provident, has announced that it will close its final salary pension scheme to new members.

It is the latest in a long line of employers moving away from the more generous type of occupational pension scheme to the less expensive ‘money purchase’ type of arrangement.

At the same time, existing staff already in the final salary scheme have been told they must to choose between working longer or giving up more of their salary to keep their existing package.

Trade unions, which have been in closed talks with the company to try to prevent the change in pension arrangements, reacted with anger.

Amicus, Britain’s largest private sector union, accused the company of “following the market”, claiming it was embarking on a cost-cutting exercise at the expense of its staff.

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