PA plugs hole in pension scheme

Long-serving members of staff attend a reception

The Press Association has paid in £3.8m to reduce a deficit in the company’s final salary pension scheme, writes Dominic Ponsford .

The scheme, which is no longer open to new members of staff, was £4.8m underfunded at the end of 2003. PA said the top-up represented the whole of a tax refund resulting from the sale of internet and mobile phone news service Ananova in 2000.

A spokesman said: “While the fund’s deficit as a proportion of its assets compares favourably with many schemes, the board has decided the tax refund should be used to further improve the security of the fund rather than to pay a dividend to the company’s shareholders.”

The news came as PA held a reception for staff with more than 25 years’ service.

? An annual bonus of £300, paid to staff with two years’ service on January 1, was this week condemned by the NUJ chapel as derisory and unfair because it was not open to all staff.

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