Watchdog to probe S&N pension claim

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THE UK Pensions Ombudsman is investigating complaints from Scottish & Newcastle pensioners against Dutch brewing giant Heineken.

The pensioners, who were employed by the UK’s leading brewing company before it was taken over by international rival Heineken in 2008, have raised formal complaints claiming Heineken has broken an undertaking it gave during the takeover.

They say Heineken’s parent company said it would continue with S&N’s practice of giving discretionary pension increases to offset the effects of inflation. The company has since said that was never its intention.

Tom Ward, spokesman for the S&N Pensions Group and former corporate development director of S&N, welcomed the ombudsman’s involvement. He said: “Heineken is a highly successful international business with the financial resources to meet its pension obligations.”