Heidelberg’s management has reached agreement with its employee representatives to reorganize the company pension scheme. In the future, the final salary pension will be replaced by a contribution-based capital commitment. This allows a balance-sheet relief of some €100 million.
Heidelberg says that this move is due to the continuing low-interest policy in the Eurozone, which could lead to further increases in provisions for pension obligations in the future. It has already been necessary to significantly increase the reserves for guaranteed pension payments in recent years and Heidelberg does not expect a reversal of this trend in the near future. This move now applies to all Heidelberg pension beneficiaries, where previously it only affected staff who joined since 2006.
This move will also have a non-recurring positive effect on the operating result for the current financial year 2014/2015. As a result, EBITDA will be around €50 million higher than previously expected.