SIPTU members have noted the progress made in preventing the unilateral closure of the defined benefit pension schemes at Independent News and Media. SIPTU Services Division Organiser, Ethel Buckley, said: “Our members have noted the agreement reached between Independent News and Media and the trustees of two of the defined benefit pension schemes operated on behalf of its employees and pensioners.“Our union strongly opposed the attempt by the company to unilaterally wind up these schemes. The decision to continue pension contributions until 2023 is a positive development which was brought about by a strong and united trade union campaign in support of maintaining the schemes.“Company contributions that exceed the legally set Minimum Funding Standard amount are now guaranteed for these schemes. This removes uncertainty for members about future employer contributions.”She added: “The closure of a defined benefit scheme in a financially solvent and profitable company such as Independent News and Media is a direct consequence of the failure of successive governments to legislate for the proper protection of the rights of workers who invested their life's savings in such plans.“This situation underlines the critical importance of the Government honouring the commitment to insert the relevant sections of the original heads of bill, which have been omitted, for the proposed Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2017 as they were initially.