Vauxhall pensions ‘unlikely to change’ after GM Europe sale
UK - GM’s decision to sell its Vauxhall subsidiary to the Canadian company Magna International, along with its German operation Opel, is very unlikely to affect the Vauxhall pension schemes, according to officials at the UK car manufacturing group.
However, figures are not publicly available to confirm the extent of the group’s European pensions liabilities.
GM Europe has operations in Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain and the UK as well as a 50% stake in Saab.
A Vauxhall spokesman says that the details of the deal with Magna have yet to become clear. The agreement will not be signed for another two to three months, and until then no strategic changes, if any, will be made to the funds.
The GM group is thought to have 10 UK-based DB schemes, some of which are still open to new members. (See earlier IPE article: ‘Pensions to be ‘unaffected’ by GM Europe takeover).
The scheme portfolios are invested within a common pool of nine pooled investment vehicles run by Promark Global Advisors (formerly GM Investment Trustees). The portfolios consist of a broad mix of UK and international equities, government bonds, corporate bonds and property.
By far the biggest scheme is the Vauxhall Motors Pension Plan, worth around £1bn.
Earlier this year, certain changes were made to the scheme in response to its recent valuation in April, the changes taking effect in June. The accrual rate was reduced while members’ contributions were increased.