Royal Dutch Shell, one of the largest and most profitable companies on earth has announced it is closing its pension scheme for new UK employees. This is despite having record high share prices, a turnover of over £360 billion, and having much more money paid into the pension scheme than is taken out. Shell has one of the most financially sound schemes in the UK, with a £1.1 billion surplus. There needs to a be a genuine joining up of pension campaigns between the private and public sectors.
Royal Dutch Shell is the latest in a long line of companies to call time or downgrade its pension provision to workers in the UK.
Shell has announced that with immediate effect, they will close their current scheme to new employees, and offer them a defined contribution plan.
As to be expected, a Shell spokesman has claimed that, “The changes are necessary so that the scheme can remain competitive and sustainable”.
A statement they seem to have taken straight from the ‘pension scheme book of clichés’.
There are now only 19% of private companies that offer a final salary pension scheme, compared to 88%, ten years ago.
Last year, Shell had a turnover of over £360 billion turnover, and around £20 billion clear profit. Analysts expect profits to be up by 106% in the last quarter, and will reach a six year high before the end of the year.
To rub further salt in the wounds of workers, the Shell pension scheme has an annual surplus of over £1 billion, and is one of the best funded schemes in the UK.
Shell is one of the largest and most profitable companies on earth, has much more money paid into its scheme than is taken out, resulting in a massive surplus, yet it claims it needs to downgrade the scheme in order to maintain its sustainability.
The list of private companies screwing pension’s schemes over is growing fast. It is about time that there was a genuine, ‘linking up’ of campaigns against pension cuts in the public, and the private sector.