UK - IBM, the computer manufacturer, has begun a consultation with its employees which could see the closure of its UK-based defined contribution pension scheme.

A spokesman for the firm told IPE said it was consulting with members about a package of pensions-related proposals which could see enhancements to the defined contribution plan for UK employees, but may also lead to the closure of the DB scheme for existing members.

IBM has set up a body to formally represent employee views to the company through its 60-day consultation which begins on 5 August.

While all of the focus is currently on the UK pension plans, there has been no mention so far, however, of whether any of the other European pension arrangements - namely in Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands - will in future be changed.

The spokesman said "IBM continues to review retirement benefits on a country-by-country basis".

The IBM UK pension fund was valued at £5.5bn at the end of 2007, and an annual report on the 2008 activity of the pension fund is yet to be published. (See earlier IPE story: IBM moved 10% to LDI in 2007)

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