Independent News and Media (INM) is planning to make phased contributions of over €50 million to defined contribution pension schemes.
The newspaper published reached an agreement with trustees of two of the company’s defined benefit pension schemes which will “bring certainty to the company regarding its future obligations in respect of its principal Irish newspaper publishing business”, INM believes.
Between 2013 and 2023 INM has committed to pay over over €70 million in respect of members of the defined benefit schemes. The is in addition to the 5 per cent of issued share capital transferred to compensate members whose pension entitlements had been reduced as a result of the company’s restructure in 2013.
Under the agreement announced Friday each member will have their own ring-fenced retirement account within the defined contribution pension scheme.
“This will give all members greater security and control over their pension savings in a far more sustainable pension arrangement,” a company statement said.
The newspaper publisher projects investment of of roughly €115 million in all of its schemes between 2013 and 2023.
“Details of each member’s pension pot and entitlements under the new agreement will be communicated to them in a letter issued of the next couple of days,” the statement continued.
In an investor note, analysts at Davy said: “ The agreement means that the group can now proceed with any capital restructuring that it may have planned. Independent News & Media had a net cash position of €85m at the end of 2016 and is on track for this figure to be close to €100m by the end of this year, post libel and pension pay-outs. This would equate to 77 per cent of the group’s market capitalisation as per last night.”