STV pensions deficit cut to £116m as deal agreed

Glasgow-based media firm STV Group plc has announced that it reached agreement with the trustees of its defined benefit pension schemes — the Scottish & Grampian Television Retirement Benefits Scheme and the Caledonian Publishing Pension Scheme — for the December 31, 2020, triennial funding valuations and recovery plans.

“The combined funding deficit, having allowed for movements in the funding position to 30 June 2021, has reduced to £116m on a pre-tax basis,” said STV.

“This compares to the pre-tax deficit of £127m at the previous settlement date, which allowed for movements in the funding position between the 31 December 2017 valuation date and 28 February 2019.

“Deficit recovery plans, which end on 31 October 2030, have been agreed with aggregate monthly payments unchanged from the previous recovery plans. 

“The 2021 deficit recovery payments will total £9.3m, with annual payments then increasing at the rate of 2% per annum over the term of the recovery plans, in line with the previous agreement.

“A contingent cash mechanism remains in place. 

“As previously, contingent funding payments equivalent to 20% of any outperformance above a benchmark of available cash will be paid to the schemes.    

“The recovery plans are designed to enable the schemes to reach a fully funded position, using prudent assumptions about the future, by 2030.

“The next triennial valuations will take place as at 31 December 2023.”

STV Group CFO Lindsay Dixon said: “Agreement on the pension scheme valuations has been reached in an efficient and timely manner, providing certainty to STV, the schemes’ trustees and to our broader stakeholders, and demonstrating STV’s continued commitment to supporting our former colleagues.”