Hammonds announces end of occupational pension scheme

Hammonds is winding up its occupational pension scheme in favour of a group personal pension plan, it emerged last week.

The firm has written to current and former employees to inform them that the scheme is being wound up, and giving them until 31 October 2005 to decide whether to join the personal pension scheme or not.

Hammonds said that its pension scheme was reviewed two years ago and it was decided to move away from an occupational pension. The new scheme was introduced in July 2004.

The news comes shortly after the firm’s disappointing financial results, including a 25 per cent profit slump, and last week’s announcement that senior partner Richard Burns is to step down at the end of the current financial year. Hammonds said the change in pension scheme is not connected to the financial results.

A spokesperson for Hammonds said the decision to change pension schemes had been taken to increase flexibility and decrease the amount of administration required to manage the scheme. Under the new arrangement, no change will be made to current contribution levels.