The 13,500 members of Thomas Cook’s old “defined benefit” pension schemes have been reassured their benefits “remain protected” despite the group’s failure.
The Pension Protection Fund said four defined benefit Cook pension funds (plans that guarantee a specific benefit or payout upon retirement), also known as final salary schemes, were due to enter into an assessment period to work out their “funding level”, which usually takes 18 to 24 months.
“We await notification the associated schemes have entered PPF assessment,” said a PPF spokesperson. “We want to assure members of Thomas Cook’s defined benefit pension schemes that their benefits remain protected by the PPF.”
The four schemes will be assessed to determine if they have enough funds to “buy out benefits with an insurer or transfer into the PPF”.
The company’s special managers from KPMG have reassured Cook staff that any pension deductions and employer contributions not paid to the pension company before the firm’s collapse will be paid directly into the pension scheme.