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Wednesday, February 17, 2010


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* Registered with FAS


*Name: UK Safety Group Pension Scheme
Location: Kingswood Bristol
Safety footwear manufacturers
Windup: Went into windup with effect 24th November 2003
Pinsents Trustees Ltd were appointed Independent Trustees to the Pension Plan on the 15th September 2003.
They were safety footwear manufacturers later known as TUF.  A company called Bunzl/Greenham Trading took over the Company TUF but of course the couple of hundred people who had their 'Final Salary Pensions with UK Safety lost out.
I had 17 years pension with UK Safety and 10 years with Totectors whose Scheme also went into wind up at the same time.


Name: Unilever
Windup: Still solvent

Comments: March 2007: Unilever is closing its UK final salary pension scheme to new entrants who will instead be able to join a hybrid scheme.

The new scheme will have a defined benefit component, based on career average salary for pensionable earnings up to a threshold of £35,000 per annum, and above this a defined contribution component. The scheme will come into effect later this year.

From 1 January 2008, the 7,000 employee members of the existing scheme will be asked to increase their contribution to the fund from 5% to 7% of their salary.


Unilever claims that the decision is unrelated to its £430m deficit in the final salary scheme. It has committed to making additional payments to the scheme, including £510m in the three years to April 2008, with the aim of eliminating the deficit within eight years.

The proposed changes to the UK scheme will need to be agreed by the fund trustees and will be subject to consultation with employees. The company said that the 40,000 pensioner and the 40,000 deferred pensioner members will not be affected by the proposed changes.


Name: Unison
Trade Union
Employees/Deferred/pensioners 1,400 members
Windup: Change to Final Salary Terms
Comments: September 2009: Unison, which represents 1.3 million local government and NHS workers, can no longer afford its final-salary scheme for employees and has set out initial proposals to cut costs. In December last year Unison had assets of about £268 million and a deficit of £58 million. But a letter from Dave Prentis, Unison general secretary, said that the deficit was now at least £120 million. Confidential proposals to curb costs sent to senior Unison officials are to be discussed by pensions trustees next week, and the recommendations will be put to the 1,400 pension scheme members in a ballot this autumn. The papers show that Unison is looking at raising retirement age from 60 to 65, possibly even for current members. 


Name: United Airlines
Comments: The airline, in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, says its four pension plans, which cover 119,000 current and former workers, are under funded by $9.8 billion.  11 May 2005 A US bankruptcy judge has approved plans by United Airlines to terminate its employees' pension plans.


Name: United Carriers Group Parent Company GEODIS SA(France)
Location: Turnells Mill Lane Wellingborough (site now closed) 30 sites around the UK Geodis head office in High Wycombe
Employees/Deferred/733 pensioners 1912 members (At 15/2/2002)
Windup: May 2002. Company ceased trading on 15/2/2002 (A notice was issued on this date to the Trustees that no further contributions to the scheme would be made, triggering the winding up of the scheme).
Fund: at 28/8/2002, excluding AVC investments: £47.4m Shortfall in fund: Actuarial valuation at 15/2/2002 identified a shortfall of £18m using the government’s test for pension schemes in wind up.
Comments:  Geodis SA were prepared to make a payment of £8m to reduce the shortfall. This payment to be made in 4 equal instalments of £2m on 30/8/2002, 31/10/2002, 31/12/2002 & 28/2/2003.

The Pensions Trustees are now Capital Cranfield Trustees Ltd 31 Bridesmith gate Nottingham NG1 2GR  - contact Stan Rowbotham.   

Geodis purchased United Carriers in 1999 with the promise of safeguarded pensions as per Trustees Report for that year.

In 2000 Geodis promised the Trustees that they would make up the funds of the already underfunded pension scheme to full transfer values ( understood by Members to mean a fully funded pension scheme ) by April 2007. This information was in Trustees Reports for both 2000 and 2001.

Geodis introduced the trading name of Geodis United Distribution to replace the name of United Carriers but retained the Registered name of United Carriers Ltd.

Then in early 2002 Geodis decided to close Geodis United Distribution and legally consulted with Employees accordingly. There was no consultation regarding the closure of United Carriers Ltd.

During Group consultations re GUD closure Directors of Geodis repeatedly assured Employees of safe and secure pensions. Note : The Company Secretary was also a Trustee of the Pension Fund.

On 15.2.02 Geodis closed the pension fund and also unilaterally withdrew the opportunities for Early Retirement.

Geodis did do a deal with the Trustees to pay £8 million into the fund which catered for persons already drawing their pension at Scheme closure date. Those not retired when the Scheme was closed were left high and dry, the fund still being £10 or £11 million short. Both the Trustees and Geodis now say that the deal done for the £8 million input was the best that could be achieved from United Carriers, since liquidated.

The following information was given by a member of the fund - During Individual Personal Redundancy Consultations, regarding the closure of Geodis United Distribution,  Geodis also promised that Scheme Members over the age of 55 would be able to take early retirement and draw their pensions from the end of their redundancy notice period.  However, having made that promise to ease the burden of redundancy for those  longer serving employees nearest to retirement and those probably having less opportunities for alternative employment in respect of their age, Geodis then reneged on the promise a month later by banning the early retirements although it only applied to a handful of employees.  Expectations of a half - reasonable income after redundancy were given but then taken away when redundant  personnel had departed the company, adding insult to the injuries of previously broken promises by the multi-national multi-billion- turnover company's complete lack of integrity and sensitivity, although Geodis claim to be  ' investors in people '.


Name: United Engineering Forgings (UEF)
Location: Plants were located at Ayr, Sheffield, Lincoln, Kidderminster, Chesterfield and Bromsgrove (was Garringtons in Bromsgrove)
Employees/Deferred/pensioners approx. 1,300 members and 400 pensioners
Windup: 6th July 2001 (fund)
Fund: £12m deficit
Comments: UEF went into Administration on 12th June 2001 and the Pension Scheme was put into wind-up by KPMG the Administrators on 6th July 2001.

The Fund was in deficit by £12M (MFR Rules). To fully fund 100% of the accrued pensions the deficit was £60M.

The operations were sold as follows: -
Ayr was sold to Imatra Kilsta, Sweden. (Parent Company Imatra Steel, Finland).
Sheffield and Lincoln were sold to Bifrangi, Italy.
Chesterfield was sold to a German Company.
Kidderminster was sold to a British Company.
The operation at Bromsgrove was sold to a land developer.

An ex employee points out that the majority shareholder of UEF was PPMV, an investment arm of PRUDENTIAL!!!


Name: Unifi Dyed Yarns Pension Scheme
Location: Manchester
the United Industries Group Pension Scheme (Bacup Plastics Limited); United Industries Group Pension Scheme (United Industries); Unifi Dyed Yarns Pension Scheme; and Botes Building Retirement and Death Benefit Scheme (scheme 2).
Windup: Collapsed June 2005
Fund: Transferred to PPF January 2010


Name: United Industries Group Pensions Scheme ( Bacup Plastics Limited)
Location: High Wycombe
Fund: Transferred to PPF
Comments:  Transferred to PPF January 2010


Name: United Pressings & Fabrication (UPF)
Location: Wolverhampton


Name: University of Warwick
Location: Warwick
Employees/Deferred/pensioners 1500
Windup:  Proposed closure of final salary scheme to new members


January 2010: The University of Warwick is planning to close its final salary pension scheme for non-academic staff to new members.Late last year the university wrote to all employees eligible for scheme membership outlining proposed changes and began a 60-day consultation period. A University of Warwick statement said: "Even though the University of Warwick has significantly increased its contribution to the Warwick Pension Scheme in recent years, the scheme's funding deficit has grown exponentially to approximately £45m as at April 5, 2009.


Name: Unwins
Employees/Deferred/pensioners 2000
Comments: Unwins staff claim that pension contributions for October and November 2005 had been deducted from salaries but had not yet been paid into the Unwins pension scheme, which is operated by Friends Provident.


Name: USM Texon Pension Scheme
Location: Wolverhampton
Employees/Deferred 508/pensioners 221
Windup: March 2004
Comments: The sponsoring company Texon UK limited was put into administration and then liquidated in Feb 2005.

They are currently in discussion about the partial transfers of AVC's. prior to annuities being purchased for the pensioners.


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The information on this website has been supplied by members of the various final salary schemes listed and others.  Accuracy is important to us, but errors are inevitable as the subject itself is an extremely emotive one so the information on this site cannot be guaranteed. We hope that we have reflected the current situation in as an unbiased way as possible.