Court settles Gillette pension case
Published: Thursday | July 9, 2009
Barbara Gayle,Staff Reporter
The United Kingdom Privy Council yesterday settled the legal debate in Jamaica as to who should benefit from the assets and surplus in a discontinued pension plan.
The issue was resolved yes-terday in a legal battle involving Gillette Caribbean Limited pension plan.
The Privy Council ruled that only the employees and former employees who were active members of the plan at the time of the discontinuance in December in 2000 were entitled to the benefits.
In interpreting the pension plan, the Privy Council made it clear that those who opted to take back their contributions with interest when they left the company could not benefit.
"The case has implications for a number of pension schemes with similar rules that exist in the instant case," attorney-at-law Wentworth Charles said yesterday. Charles and RNA Henriques, QC, represented the successful appellants.
Charles said there were several cases in court which were awaiting the outcome of the Gillette Caribbean case.
When the operations of Gillette Caribbean were shut down in 1996 only the appellants, Vivion Scully and Morven Richardson, were left as employees and active con-tributors to the pension plan until it was discontinued on December 31, 2000.
The plan was established as a defined benefit plan by a trust deed dated May 1, 1976. Scully and Morrison took the case to the Supreme Court.