Restaurant and pub chain Mitchells & Butlers, Birmingham, England, agreed with the trustees of its U.K. pension funds to delay making contributions worth £13 million ($18 million) until April.
The sponsor and trustees agreed to delay scheduled payments for January, February and March.
The move follows a further closure of the group's restaurants as a result of increased COVID-19-related restrictions by the U.K. government on Dec. 30, according to a news release Monday.
Contributions to the pension funds will resume in April.
U.K. Mitchells & Butlers' defined benefit funds have more than £3 billion in assets. The pension funds' actuarial deficit was £293 million as of March 31, 2019.
The company's latest financial report said that as part of a triennial valuation a recovery plan was agreed through which the deficit would be funded by cash contributions of £49 million per year until 2023.
The company also suspended monthly contributions to the Mitchells & Butlers Pension Plan and the Mitchells & Butlers Executive Pension Plan in 2020 due to the pandemic. The contributions were suspended for the six months until September. These contribution repayments will be added onto the end of the agreed upon recovery plan to be payable in 2023, the financial report said.