February 13, 2008 / 7:53 AM / 12 years ago

Unilever pension fund row goes to court

AMSTERDAM, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Members of Unilever’s (ULVR.L) UNc.AS Dutch pension fund said on Wednesday they are taking the board of the fund to court to challenge changes to the pension scheme which could limit pension increases.

The fund’s Participants Council said recent changes made to the scheme contradicted statements made by Unilever and the fund in past years that they would maintain the purchasing power of the pensions by increasing them in line with inflation.

“The changes limit the possible increases in pensions to less than the full price inflation,” the Council said in a statement, adding that it was also not satisfied with how the the changes were made.

The case is being heard at Amsterdam’s Enterprise Chamber. If the Participants Council wins the court case, up to 80 million euros ($116.5 million) of extra future pension payments may be required, a spokesman for the Council said.

Unilever has 4,000 employees and 12,000 pensioners in the Netherlands, the Council said.

Reporting by Catherine Hornby; Editing by Quentin Bryar

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