A group of Philips pensioners are considering legal action in an effort to get the electronics giant to repay nearly €1.3bn into the company’s pension fund, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Thursday.
The money was creamed off by the company around the turn of the century when the premiums were recalculated, the campaigners claim.
If Philips refuses to bail out the fund now, then the pensioners are looking at going to court, the paper says. The fund’s management plans to freeze pay-outs for the next five years in an effort to build up its assets, which have fallen below official requirements.
‘The company must take responsibility, talk to the pension fund and solve this problem,’ Nico Bruijel, chairman of the pensioners’ lobby group, told the paper. ‘They can do that by paying back the €1.27bn.’
Pensioners who worked for IT company Unisys are also considering legal action on similar grounds.
In a reaction, Philips said the fund’s finances had been hit by longer life expectancy and the economic crisis. The fund is index-linked under strict conditions, the company said.
Philips’ shareholders meeting takes place on Thursday.
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