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4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  Euronext Amsterdam  >  MEDIQ       NL0009103530

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MEDIQ : transfers pension scheme to industry pension fund PMA

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04/25/2012 | 08:43am CEST
25 apr

Mediq, international supplier of medical devices and pharmaceuticals, announces that it is voluntarily joining Pensioenfonds Medewerkers Apotheken (PMA - Pharmacy Assistants' Pension Fund) with immediate effect. To ensure the transfer proceeds successfully, Mediq will contribute a maximum amount of € 8.6 million in transition costs - including the compensation for missed indexation in prior years. In addition, Mediq will offer a compensation scheme enabling employees to adapt gradually to the new contribution over a five-year period, totalling € 1.4 million. The members of the trade unions FNV Bondgenoten and CNV Vakmensen have agreed to the transaction. The supervisory authority, the Dutch Central Bank DNB, has announced not to object to this collective transfer.

Pension fund PMA has around 39,000 participants (of which 61% active) and plan assets of € 1,200 million. Pensioenfonds Mediq has around 4,500 participants (of which 28% active) and plan assets of around EUR 300 million. The structure of the pension fund PMA differs significantly from Pensioenfonds Mediq in terms of its participants. Not only is the fund much larger and its percentage of active participants over twice as high, but the average age of the participants is also lower. This gives pension fund PMA more scope for a long-term investment policy than Pensioenfonds Mediq. The coverage ratio of the pension fund PMA was at transition date 98%.

Advantages for Mediq
The transfer to the industry pension fund PMA offers various advantages. Firstly, the complexity and the continually rising administrative costs it entails can now be allocated across a much larger number of participants, as a result of which the pension administration costs per participant are reduced, on balance. In addition, almost all of the employees of Mediq in the Netherlands can now be included in the same pension fund. The pharmacy assistants have already been participants of pension fund PMA for many years.
Further, the capital components relating to the pension scheme of Pensioenfonds Mediq are no longer included in Mediq's balance sheet, and possible supplementary payments by the employer in addition to the regular employer contributions to cover any deficits will no longer arise. Moreover, the employers' contribution to the pension fund PMA is lower than the employers' contribution to Pensioenfonds Mediq.

Advantages for employees
The transition to the pension fund PMA also has advantages for Mediq's employees. At the pension fund PMA they will accrue a higher old-age pension, partner pension and widowers' and orphans' pension. On the other hand, employees will have to pay a higher monthly pension contribution, but Mediq will offer a compensation scheme enabling employees to adapt gradually to the new contribution over a five-year period. This will involve estimated costs totalling € 1.4 million between 2012 and 2017.

Financial impact for Mediq
Mediq will pay a maximum amount of € 8.6 million in 2012 in connection with transition costs and the compensation for missed indexation in prior years for 75%. Because the employers' contribution at the pension fund PMA is lower, the negative cash flow impact will be lower in 2012, at around
€ 5.0 million.

A provision of € 1.3 million for Dutch defined benefit obligations is recognised in the balance sheet as at 31 March 2012. This provision will be released in the second quarter.

The exact accounting impact of this transaction under IFRS will depend on the fair values at the transaction date. Mediq expects to be able to provide further details in its press release for the second quarter 2012 on the exact impact on EBITA in 2012.

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