UK - The trustees of the £2bn (€2.15bn) Philips Electronics UK pension fund have filed a lawsuit against consulting firm Hewitt Associates and one of its former top executives.

The £103m claim refers to actuarial services.

Philips told IPE today it took Hewitt to court because it finds the consultant made a number of errors in the valuation of certain benefits in connection with its actuarial services provided from 1995 to 2000.

According to a spokeswoman the damages for Philips lie between £75m and £103m.

Philips and Philips Pension Trustees Ltd. filed suit in the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, in London, against Hewitt Associates and former European consulting head Roger Parkin on August 1 last year, it has emerged.

Parkin left Hewitt last July after 30 years with the firm.

The consultant said in its annual report released late last year that its insurer has "denied coverage" relating to the matter. But Hewitt disputes this position and "fully intends to enforce its rights under the policies at issue".

Hewitt has reserved $5m related to the dispute, net of expected insurance recoveries.

The case is ongoing and Philips is currently responding to statements put forward by Hewitt.

Meanwhile, Hewitt has also revealed that the underfunding at its US defined benefit pension fund further widened last year.

Its unfunded status increased to a deficit of $44.5m at the end of September last year, from a deficit of $18.0m the year before.

According to Hewitt, the recognised unfunded status of pension plans was reduced by $3,793 primarily due to employer contributions made during the fourth quarter.

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