Ahold: No Extra Contribution to 2002 Pension Fund

AMSTERDAM -- The 2002 earnings of embattled retailer Royal Ahold NV will be hit by EUR907 million in accounting irregularities, but not by paying an extra net contribution to the company's pension fund, Royal Ahold said Tuesday.

Following the publication of the annual report of Ahold's pension fund, a spokeswoman said Ahold won't have to make any extra contributions to its pension fund for 2002.

Ahold is paying the regular employer's part of an employee's pension premium, she said.

Ahold's pension fund ended the year with a coverage ratio of 105 percent, while Ahold has a contractual obligation to its pension fund to pay a contribution if the fund's coverage ratio falls below 100 percent.

The return on its investment portfolio was a -12.2 percent in 2002, compared with a -5.9 percent in 2001.

Like many other pension funds in the Netherlands, Ahold's fund has submitted a recovery plan aimed at achieving the required ratio of 121 percent within a maximum period of eight years, the spokeswoman said. The fund said Ahold employees are likely to have to pay a higher premium in coming years.

The Ahold pension fund has half of its assets invested in equities, 40 percent in fixed-income investments, 7.5 percent in real estate, and 2.5 percent in alternative investments.
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