Whitbread PLC, Dunstable, England, will freeze its £1.3 billion ($2.1 billion) Whitbread Group Pension Fund at year’s end, the company announced today.
The defined benefit plan has been closed to new members since 2002. Current members will accrue pension benefits starting in 2010 though an existing defined contribution plan.
The changes will “ensure that we offer fair pension benefits to all,” Lesley Williams, pensions director, said in the statement.
The DB fund had a deficit of £388 million as of March 31, according to the company’s financial update.
Also according to the update, Whitbread officials had agreed to transfer real estate valued at about £150 million to the pension fund as contingent assets, and contributions of £55 million would be made each August from 2011 to 2013.
In 2014, a contribution of £65 million would be made, with £70 million the following year, and £80 million in 2017 and 2018, according to the financial update.