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Posts on ‘January 22nd, 2012’

Pensions anger as even profitable firms cut benefits

The Observer, Sunday 22 January 2012

When even successful companies such as Shell and Unilever are taking an axe to staff retirement packages, is the outlook bleak for everyone?

Unilever, the maker of everything from Pot Noodles to Dove soap, has infuriated its staff by cutting pension payouts – despite being highly profitable. Shell, another household name, has followed suit with plans to cut retirement incomes.

Unilever suffered a wave of strikes which started last week and will continue for the next five days. Much of the anger among employees at its factories and research units is focused on the company’s £6bn operating profit and the pay, bonus and pension top-ups awarded to chief executive Paul Polman. He pocketed £2.8m last year, of which £1.7m was a performance-related bonus. His pension was increased by a company donation of £352,000, according to the 2011 annual report. read more

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