UK - News and information group Reuters has denied claims that there is a hiring freeze caused by its pension deficit.

Journalists at the agency have told IPE that jobs are going unfilled because of budget cuts after the company said it would make an extra £230m (€339m) in pension contributions in 2006 and 2007 to help ease a £265m deficit.

But Reuters spokesman Johnny Weir categorically denied the claims, adding that some news desks had in fact expanded recently.

The company has some 15,659 staff in 91 countries including 2,300 editorial staff, journalists, photographers and camera operators in 196 bureaux.

Reuters in May said that in addition to its ordinary pension contributions, it would pay a cash sum of £188m into its two pension funds in 2006 and a further £42m in 2007. There was a package of measures, including "de-risking" investment strategy and cutting exposure to future asset and liability risk.

Last week the company named Michael Peace as the new chief executive of its Research and Asset Management division, replacing company veteran Julie Holland.

Research and Asset management is one of the firm's four business divisions, alongside Sales and Trading, Enterprise and Media.