The funded status of the pension plans at year-end 2011 was estimated to be a deficit of €0.5 billion (year-end 2010: €1.0 billion; Q3 2011: €0.7 billion). The movement compared to year-end 2010 is due to:
- Top-up payments of €354 million into certain defined benefit pension plans
- Lower discount rates increasing the pension obligation
- Lower inflation in UK decreasing the pension obligation
- Higher asset returns.
In January 2012, we concluded the triennial actuarial funding review of the ICI Pension Fund. We expect to have top-up payments over the remaining six years of the recovery plan that are £198 million lower in total than the sum of the current schedule:
- In 2012 and 2013, they will be £62 million per annum lower
- In 2014, 2015 and 2016, they will be £19 million per annum lower.
- In 2017, they will be £16 million lower.
In addition, we have agreed to terminate a contingent asset on our balance sheet in order to fund further de-risking activities and thereby reduce future demands on our cash flows.