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BP: no final salary scheme

ENERGY giant BP is to close its final salary pension scheme to new employees from April next year, City A.M. can confirm.<br /><br />The cost of funding BP&rsquo;s pension obligations has soared since last year, reaching $368m (&pound;222m) in the first quarter of 2009, compared to $246m in the same period of 2008, as the return on its investments tumbled.<br /><br />Current employees will not be affected, the company said, but new workers will be offered defined benefit pension schemes.<br /><br />The move is part of a cost-cutting drive initiated by chief executive Tony Hayward, but comes as a surprise given that the pension scheme had a surplus on an accounting basis of &pound;1.58bn last year.<br /><br />A company spokesman said the measure was aimed at reducing the burden on shareholders and preventing pension liabilities from spiralling out of control.