Sure Guernsey closes pension scheme due to deficit

A £9.4m deficit is behind the closure of the defined benefits pensions scheme at the former States of Guernsey-owned telecoms company.

Sure has closed the scheme, but said it would assess the contributions made to date and fund the remaining shortfall.

Guernsey Telecom was sold to Cable and Wireless in 2002 and to Batelco in 2013.

Eddie Saints, Sure's chief executive, said it followed similar moves at the States and other private companies.

"[It is] a continuing growing expense going forward - we must bring it to some form of an end with continuing certainty for staff about their benefit to date," he said.

"Also for pensioners who have worked very hard over many years and don't want to face the possibility of losing pensions."

The move affects 107 members of current staff.

Martyn Priaulx, senior staff representative for Prospect union in Guernsey, said: "It's still early days... we knew the scheme was under valuation but there was no warning."

He said when the company had first been sold, staff had been given "a lot of guarantees" that pensions would continue as before.

Mr Priaulx said a period of consultation was being undertaken before the changes were brought in.

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