M&S lowers amount needed to fund DB deficit

Marks and Spencer (M&S) has agreed a 10-year funding plan to tackle its defined benefit (DB) pension scheme deficit.

The funding plan includes cash contributions of £28 million per year from 2013/14 to 2016/17, a reduction on the previously agreed £60 million per year until 2017/18.

The retailer said it expects the remaining balance to be met by investment returns on the pension scheme’s existing assets.

The cash contributions will be made in addition to the payments under the existing pension property partnership, which was set up in 2007, using income from a portion of the company’s property portfolio to reduce the pension deficit.

Marks and Spencer’s pension deficit at 31 March 2012 was £290 million, a reduction from a £1.3 billion deficit at 31 March 2009.

The improvement reflects the additional contributions made to the scheme following the 2009 valuation, together with strong investment growth and sound risk management.