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John Lewis faces “nigh on impossible” £1.5bn pension deficit challenge


The parent company of John Lewis and Waitrose could face a tough task to cut its increasing pension deficit of £1.5 billion, according to reports.

John Lewis Partnership’s pension deficit rose by £512 million in six months due the partnership structure of the company, leading pensions expert John Ralfe has said.

Ralfe added that the retail giant had the additional challenge where staff control the business, meaning they were unlikely to be supportive of action that could cut their pensions.

“No one is going to vote to cancel Christmas,” he told This Is Money.

RELATED: John Lewis hit by price wars with a 14.7% drop in profits

“The shareholders are the current employees, so it is nigh on impossible for the management to do what other companies have done. 

“Simply by keeping the scheme open they are continuing to dig themselves into a hole.”

John Lewis Partnership said it had paid £1.35 billion into the scheme over five years.

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Published on Monday 19 September by Elias Jahshan

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