Barclays responds to claims they raided employees’ pensions

A report in the Daily Telegraph on 29 March accused Barclays of raiding the pension benefits of 17,000 staff members to offset the bonus tax for its high-earning investment bankers.

Details unearthed by the Telegraph from the annual accounts show that the bank made a £371m profit last year from closing its UK final salary scheme to existing members.

A spokesperson for Barclays refuted the allegations: “When Barclays began its consultation about the proposed closure of the UK final salary pension scheme to the accrual of future pension benefits, we were clear that we would reinvest any resulting saving to Barclays in reducing the deficit in the UK Retirement Fund.

“In 2009 we made an additional contribution of £150m which was in excess of the anticipated annual profit and loss saving. Any attempt to suggest otherwise relies on misinterpreting Barclays published figures and misunderstanding the relevant accounting. Barclays will continue in the future to make further contributions to the UKRF deficit.

“The changes to the Barclays’ pension scheme were made before the end of 2009 and hence before any decisions were made regarding discretionary compensation or the payroll tax.”

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