IRELAND - The National Irish Bank (NIB) has announced it will introduce a hybrid pension scheme for new workers on August 1.

The new model comprises of a cash balance plan and an investment account plan, to deliver a pension worth64% of final salary as well as the state pension at the age of 65, a spokesman for NIB told IPE today.

The bank will close its existing defined benefit pension scheme to new entrants from August 1 and replace it with the new hybrid scheme for workers who join NIB from that date.

"The pensions arrangements for the existing pensioners and employers are not going to be affected by the change," the spokesman told IPE.

NIB, which was acquired by Danske Bank in 2004, said it had come to the new pension agreement following last year's discussions with the Irish Bank Officials Association (IOBA) union about a pensions review.

The review started this January, and was referred to an independent chairman of the Irish Labour Relations Commission - an industrial mediator in the republic.

The Bank of Ireland (BoI) agreed a similar deal with union officials in October 2007 to introduce a hybrid DB/DC pension scheme, following the closure of its final salary scheme in 2006. (See earlier IPE story: ‘Bank of Ireland secures LifeBalance deal')

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