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Hanson pensions safe


Sir, In response to your article 'Hanson staff to make up pensions shortfall' (CN, June 3).

There is no question of Hanson employees being asked to address any current deficit in our UK defined benefit pension arrangements.This remains our responsibility.

Last year Hanson made a special £25 million contribution to the UK final salary scheme.Not only was this done earlier than was required, discussions are now taking place with the scheme's trustees about additional contributions.

It is the case that the cost of providing pensions that members will earn in the future has risen significantly and it is this additional cost (and not any cost related to service up to June 30,2004) that members, together with the company, are being asked to bear a share of.

Hanson is committed to providing attractive and robust pension benefits but changes are required to protect the interests of both the existing pension scheme members and the Hanson group.

We will continue to provide defined benefit arrangements for those existing members of the pension scheme.

J C Nicholls Finance director Hanson PLC London