Alliance Boots, the leading international pharmacy-led health and beauty group, is entering into consultation with employees of its UK businesses about a proposal to introduce a new defined contribution pension scheme and close its UK defined benefit pension schemes to future accrual for active members.
These changes would enable Alliance Boots to provide competitive pension benefits for all employees of its UK businesses on a more sustainable basis. The Group also hopes to encourage greater participation by its employees in pension schemes and the introduction of a defined contribution arrangement would provide the opportunity to do so.
The proposed closure of the defined benefit schemes to future accrual would not affect the benefits that have already been earned by employees through past service nor would it affect the pension entitlements of those who have left the Group.
A further statement will be made once the consultation period has been completed later this year.
Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman, Alliance Boots, said: “Having very carefully considered all options, the proposed pensions changes for UK employees is the right step to take. This will help protect the business from the effect of pension funding volatility and ensure the long-term sustainability of the Group's UK retirement savings schemes. We have seen many large businesses, like ours, make this move and our aim is to encourage greater participation from all UK employees in a competitive and fairer retirement savings scheme.”
Alliance Boots is a leading international pharmacy-led health and beauty group offering a wide range of products and services to our customers working in close partnership with manufacturers and pharmacists. Our two core business activities are pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing and pharmaceutical wholesaling. Alliance Boots is privately-owned and employs over 115,000* people. Its wholesale and distribution network serves over 140,000* pharmacies, doctors, health centres and hospitals from over 370* pharmaceutical wholesale distribution centres in 16* countries. We operate more than 3,200* health and beauty retail stores in nine* countries, of which just under 3,000* have a pharmacy.
* Figures stated are as at 31 March 2009, are approximate and include associates and joint ventures.
For further information, please contact:
Yves Romestan / Zoe Farthing, Alliance Boots. Tel: +44 (0) 1932 871569
James Murgatroyd / Kirsty Flockhart, Finsbury. Tel: +44 (0) 207 251 3801