And then there were none: Shell shuts pension scheme

FINAL salary pensions in the private sector moved closer to extinction yesterday, after Royal Dutch Shell announced plans to close its scheme to new members.

The oil giant became the final company in the FTSE 100 to abandon its final salary pension, after it said new members would be unable to join from the first quarter of 2013 onwards.

Shell’s announcement came as trade union Unite rejected the government’s latest offer on pensions for NHS workers.

Yesterday Shell said its move to a less generous defined contribution scheme reflected market trends. “The plan will be designed to ensure that the reward package in the UK for new hires remains strongly competitive,” it added.

Only 19 per cent of private sector final salary schemes are now open to new staff, according to a National Association of Pension funds survey published last month.