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Dividends higher than pension deficits at FTSE firms

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By Simon Read: Personal finance reporter: 15 June 2016

Some 35 of the biggest UK firms with pension deficits pay more in dividends than their shortfalls, analysis shows.

Pension firm AJ Bell calculated that 54 FTSE 100 companies had paid out £48bn to shareholders a year in the past two years.

That’s almost equal to the total £52bn recorded deficit of their combined pension schemes in 2014.

“The plights of BHS and Tata Steel have brought this into focus,” said Russ Mould, investment director of AJ Bell.

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How Much Is My Shell Pension Worth?

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Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 08.03.29October 28, 2015 By Lisa Smith

Shell runs several pension schemes with different features and benefits depending on if you worked for the firm before 2009, still work with the company or have left.

If you belong to the Shell Overseas Contributory Pension Fund and were an employee on or before December 31, 2008 and have a salary of more than £30,000 a year, you are contributing 6%.

Shell pays the ‘balance of cost’ which makes up the difference of the amount you should receive as benefits less your contributions and any investment growth.

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Is Your Pension In Safe Hands With Shell?

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Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 19.53.08By Lisa Smith: 24 Sept 2015

If you have a pension with oil giant Shell and are worried about what may happen to your retirement savings if you lose your job you need to take specialist financial advice.

Many Shell workers have built up significant retirement savings as high-earners in a well-paying industry.

The company runs the Shell Overseas Contributory Pension Fund – but a key point to remember is the scheme is not an HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) registered pension.

Unlike the Shell scheme, a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) is a registered pension and operates under a framework of rules administered by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). 

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Outspoken articles about Shell

Shell Pensioners Revolt

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By John Donovan

Trouble is brewing for Shell in the UK as Shell pensioners revolt against the proposed change of name of their association. The “Shell Pensioners’ Association” (SPA) is open to all Shell pensioners in the UK and arranges a raft of social and other events through its Branch network. It also publishes a quarterly magazine, “SPA News”.

With the latest edition comes an announcement of a plan to change the name of the Club to “Shell Pecten Association” – the rationale being that younger new Shell pensioners are put off joining the SPA because they don’t wish to be seen as pensioners! No evidence to support this claim is provided.

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Shell investors sue BP for millions over Deepwater share price crash

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 00.47.49Extracts from an article by Jim Armitage, Deputy Business Editor of  The Independent, published 4 July 2014

The pension fund of oil giant Shell is suing arch rival BP and its former chief executive Lord John Browne for millions of pounds over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill catastrophe.

Shell Pension Trust is one of more than a dozen giant UK investment funds who have joined a massive lawsuit against BP and its directors at the time including Tony Hayward, who took over from Lord John as CEO three years before the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The investors are suing over the dramatic crash in BP’s share price caused by the spill and have won the right to sue under UK law but in the generous Texas court. While they had the right to take action in the High Court in London, they have held out to take their claims in the US where higher awards are likely.

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Shell Netherlands on warpath with staff council over pensions

Screen Shot 2013-06-07 at 14.51.52You may want to keep an eye on this latest development in relation to the Shell Dutch Pension Fund. Your website was involved in breaking news about the recovery plan for the pension fund after a financial meltdown a few years ago. Shell Netherlands is on a warpath with the staffcouncil.

RECEIVED FROM A ROYAL DUTCH SHELL SOURCE

Hello John

You may want to keep an eye on this latest development in relation to the Shell Dutch Pension Fund.

Your website was involved in breaking news about the recovery plan for the pension fund after a financial meltdown a few years ago.

Shell Netherlands is on a warpath with the staffcouncil. They want to introduce a new pension system (for new staff) which is much less favorable for the employees.

It will be done. But the Staffcouncil is against. Drama will develop, all in dutch of course. Start is 1st July.

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Shell Covered Up The Fact That They Moved Kulluk For Taxes

 Screen Shot 2013-06-01 at 15.31.58…the two Arctic drilling barges deployed by Shell were plagued with issues. The first was under criminal investigation for failing safety requirements, while the second was the Kulluk

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Rachel Maddow: Shell Covered Up The Fact That They Moved Kulluk For Taxes

Posted:   |  Updated: 05/31/2013 12:45 pm EDT

Rachel Maddow concluded earlier this week that “oil companies lie.”

Although this is not the first time the MSNBC host has criticized an oil giant, recent revelations about Shell’s Arctic drilling led Maddow to reiterate her stance.

In an investigation conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard, a Shell official admitted that the Kulluk, a drilling barge that ran aground on December 31, 2012, was being moved in an effort to avoid a possible $6 million tax.

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Shell Pension Fund – Should You Consider Your Transfer Options?

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Hi John,

This short video may be of interest, specifically to Shell Employees.

http://www.aesadviser.com/services/qrops/

I have personally spoken with guys who have already started to take their Shell pension, and they have been most dismayed to learn about what they could have had, in the way of a cash equivalent transfer (into their own retirement trust) and the massive improvement that such a move heralds in relation to passing their fund to their wife and kids, in addition to the possibility for higher growth between now and retirement and higher levels of income at retirement, than if they were to stay in the Shell scheme.

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Financial Advice for Oil & Gas Pension Holders


John
 
Found this on the web – have no idea if it is for real, but may be of interest to some of your readers?
 
http://www.aesadviser.com/financial-advice-for-oil-gas-pension-holders/

EXTRACT FROM THE WEBSITE IN QUESTION

“I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I was able to transfer my Shell pension into a self invested scheme, with Shell offering a generous transfer value. Now, I feel like I have the best of both worlds. Am still able to grow my fund and will be able to generate an income at retirement but, will now be able to pass my fund of almost £1million on to my family, not back to Shell”

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Ageing and sickly, ex-Shell staff wait on court

FROM OUR SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE OCTOBER 2004

New Straits Times: Ageing and sickly, ex-Shell staff wait on court

“Some have died. Others are losing their memory and many are ailing.”: “399 former employees of Sarawak Shell Bhd and Sabah Shell Petroleum Co Ltd engaged in a protracted legal battle with their ex-employers…” “claiming that they unlawfully deducted money from their internal retirement funds…”: “They won their case at the Miri High Court on Sept 20 but their employers filed an appeal.”: “For now, all they can do is hope their time doesn’t run out.”

By Johannes Ridu & Sharifah Arfah

MIRI, 6 October 2004

Some have died. Others are losing their memory and many are ailing. They are among a group of 399 former employees of Sarawak Shell Bhd and Sabah Shell Petroleum Co Ltd engaged in a protracted legal battle with their ex-employers over an estimated RM50 million they claim is rightfully theirs.

In November 2002 they sued their ex-employers, claiming that they unlawfully deducted money from their internal retirement funds, Shell Sarawak & Sabah Retirement Benefit Fund (RBF) and Shell Sarawak & Sabah Provident Fund (SSF).

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Nigeria leaks billions from rampant oil theft

Oil firms and government say nearly 200,000 barrels of oil stolen each day from pipelines and wells by criminal gangs.

Last Modified: 03 Aug 2012 11:14  

A sophisticated criminal network has stepped up its operations in Nigeria’s Bayelsa State, costing state and oil companies as much as a billion dollars per month.

Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company’s Nigerian subsidiary said in a recent report that between 150,000 and 180,000 barrels of oil are stolen each from its pipelines and wells. Government estimates have put the number of stolen oil as high as twice this amount.

The trade in stolen oil involves international traders who provide oil at discounted prices to refineries in other parts of the world.

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Union fury as Shell closes pension scheme despite making £18bn profit

Fuel giant Shell has been accused of “moral bankruptcy” for announcing profits of £18billion – just a month after closing its final salary pension scheme for new recruits.

Fuel giant Shell has been accused of “moral bankruptcy” for announcing profits of £18billion – just a month after closing its final salary pension scheme for new recruits.

The multinational’s haul soared 54% last year thanks to sky-high oil prices caused largely by political tensions in the Middle East. But union leaders accused the firm of raking it in while hammering workers.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Shell reminds us of the moral bankruptcy of the corporate elite. The company is needlessly closing its final salary scheme while posting colossal profits.

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Pensions anger as even profitable firms cut benefits

The Observer, Sunday 22 January 2012

When even successful companies such as Shell and Unilever are taking an axe to staff retirement packages, is the outlook bleak for everyone?

Unilever, the maker of everything from Pot Noodles to Dove soap, has infuriated its staff by cutting pension payouts – despite being highly profitable. Shell, another household name, has followed suit with plans to cut retirement incomes.

Unilever suffered a wave of strikes which started last week and will continue for the next five days. Much of the anger among employees at its factories and research units is focused on the company’s £6bn operating profit and the pay, bonus and pension top-ups awarded to chief executive Paul Polman. He pocketed £2.8m last year, of which £1.7m was a performance-related bonus. His pension was increased by a company donation of £352,000, according to the 2011 annual report.

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Shell ends the ‘final salary era’

The news… was quietly posted on the Shell pensioners’ website just before Christmas…

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Shell axes final salary pension schemes

By STEVE HAWKES, Business Editor: 6 January 2012

SHELL is to scrap final salary pensions from 2013 — despite making billions in profits.

The oil giant will close its scheme to new recruits in two years.

All existing staff will be kept on final salary benefits — for now.

The move means that every UK company in the FTSE 100 has now scrapped the generous retirement packages.

It came as the UNITE union revealed thousands of health workers had “unanimously rejected” government calls to cough up more money for their own saving pots.

Matthew Sinclair at the TAXPAYERS ALLIANCE said Shell’s action showed a huge divide between the public and private sector. While the Government is £990 billion in debt, Shell is expected to post annual profits of almost £17billion for 2011.

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Shell closes its final-salary pension scheme

5 January 2012 Last updated at 17:18

Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell is to close its final-salary pension scheme to new employees in the UK.

From early 2013, new staff at Shell will be offered membership of a scheme without a guaranteed level of pension.

Existing members of the Shell scheme can continue contributing and building up their salary-linked pensions.

As employers look to cut costs, 90% of final-salary schemes have been closed to new members, according to the Association of Consulting Actuaries.

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Shell Pension Fund Joins Appeal of ‘Feeder Fund’ Ruling by Madoff Judge

By Linda Sandler – Oct 10, 2011 8:30 PM GMT+0100

Shell Pension Fund, which runs pension plans for Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) companies, joined an appeal of a court ruling in the Bernard Madoff case that denied customer status to so-called feeder fund investors.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland backed the liquidator of the con man’s firm in June, saying investors in feeders can’t file claims for payment with the estate because they didn’t have accounts with the Madoff firm in their own names. More than 50 companies, pension funds and individuals — from National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) SAK and Aozora Bank Ltd. (8304) to Upstate New York Bakery Drivers & Industry Pension Fund — appealed the ruling, asking a district judge to decide whether Lifland erred in defining what a customer was.

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FINANCIAL TIMES ARTICLES CITING THE WEBSITE: Royaldutchshellplc.com

FINANCIAL TIMES ARTICLES CITING THE WEBSITE: Royaldutchshellplc.com

ENERGYSOURCE BLOG December 3, 2009

Spot news

…French companies dismiss claims of political fix (FT) Shell critic says oil major targeting his website Royaldutchshellplc.com operator cites released emails (Reuters) Nigerians urge Yar’Adua to step down Warnings of power vacuum… Kate Mackenzie

ENERGY SOURCE BLOG February 12, 2010

Shell’s directory leak shouldn’t be taken lightly

…corporations (in western countries)” to campaign for change in corporate practices. Meanwhile John Donovan at royaldutchshellplc.com is irked , because he says Shell asked him not to make the directory public for security and personal reasons… Kate Mackenzie

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Royal Dutch Shell Malaysian pension fund controversy

If you haven't seen the attached, it may interest you to know that the attached is a copy of Sarawak Shell Berhad/Sabah Shell Petroleum Company's internal management exchange which was leaked by one of the employees who is disgusted with Shell. You may take note that Shell cheats on paying the Retirement Benefit Fund resulting in the class action at Miri High Court by ex and current staff of Sarawak Shell Berhad/Sabah Shell Petroleum Company.

Time to take the tough decisions on oil and gas

The Irish Times – Tuesday, January 4, 2011

FINTAN O’TOOLE

WE’VE just been through a year when the unthinkable became normal. The problem is that all the unthinkables have been bad: the nationalisation of the banks and their debts, the arrival of the IMF and so on. Is it not time to consider another unthinkable that would be of potentially transformative significance – taking back control of our offshore resources.

Wishful thinking is the last thing we need, but it is not far-fetched to suggest that oil and gas finds could play a huge role in Ireland’s long-term economic and fiscal future.

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Pension deficits threaten 1 in 10 FTSE firms

"The biggest deficit contribution was made by oil group Royal Dutch Shell, which handed £2.7bn to its pension scheme."

Shell’s Pension Fund Shies Away from Active Management

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

By MARK COBLEY and PHIL CRAIG

The £10.5 billion ($14.3 billion) pension fund for Royal Dutch Shell PLC has become the latest big investor retreat from active fund management, in a further blow to managers already suffering from reduced market values and a poor economic outlook.

In documents posted on the pension plan’s Web site, the fund’s trustees wrote that they had placed an upper limit on the amount they would entrust to stockpickers: 40% of its equities holdings. The fund didn’t say what percentage it previously had under active management, but it didn’t previously have an upper limit. It has also upped the percentage of its investments that go to passive bond investments such as those tracking bond indexes.

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Shell pension fund manager takes 20% of hybrid power firm

Shell Asset Management Co., the manager of Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s various pension funds, has taken its stake in hybrid electric power company Enova Systems to almost 20% following a $10 million capital raising exercise.

Pension deficits return to haunt blue-chips

A study by consultants Lane Clark & Peacock found a massive turnaround in corporate pension accounts. Royal Dutch Shell's scheme saw a surplus of £6.8 billion turned into a deficit of £5.6 billion.

Shell critic says oil major targeting his website

Reuters UK

Wed Dec 2, 2009 3:04pm GMT

By Tom Bergin

LONDON, Dec 2 (Reuters) – A prominent Internet critic of Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) says the oil major has asked an anti-cyber fraud agency to target his site, which Shell admits provides better information on the group than its own internal communications.

John Donovan, who runs the Royaldutchshell.plc website, where disaffected Shell employees post company news and gossip, said the move suggests Shell has adopted more aggressive tactics in its long battle to shut him down.

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Around $5 billion to be injected into Shell Pension Fund hit by slump

LONDON (Dow Jones)--Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) will only have to top up its pension fund by around $5 billion, compared with previous expectations of $6-8 billion, because of the recovery in global equity markets, said Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry Thursday.

Shell Fund to Expand Alternative Investments

One of the U.K.'s biggest pension plans is moving forward with a strategy to invest hundreds of millions of pounds in alternative assets, potentially including hedge funds for the first time. The £10.6 billion ($16.8 billion) U.K. pension fund for oil company Royal Dutch Shell Group PLC agreed to a new strategic investment plan over the summer, according to a recent report to members of the pension plan.

Paddy Briggs elected as a Trustee of Shell Contributory Pension Fund

It has come to our attention that former Shell executive Paddy Briggs (above) has been elected to serve the thirty-three thousand Shell pensioners in the UK as a Trustee of the Shell Contributory Pension Fund for four years commencing January 2010. In addition to the elected members, the Board of Trustees has seven Shell appointees, including UK country chairman James Smith and Clive Mather, the Chairman of the Board.

The manifesto on which Paddy Briggs was elected was:

“I joined Shell Mex and B.P. in 1964 and retired from Shell in 2002 having worked in Shell UK Ltd, Shell International and operating companies in The Netherlands, Hong Kong and Dubai. The Shell that most of us once worked for is long gone – as the “reserves” scandal and the recent furore over top executive remuneration have shown. Such events, coupled with the deteriorating financial position of many pensioners (which was exacerbated this year by a derisory 0.9% annual pension increase) illustrate the extent of the changes in Shell and confirm the urgent need for a strong defence of SCPF member interests by the one elected MNT Trustee directors. I was “First reserve” in the elections in 2007 and hope to go one better this time around. If elected I will do my upmost robustly to represent the interests of the Pensioner constituency and all other beneficiaries of the fund.”

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Royal Dutch Shell pumped in €2 billion in rescue payments to its Dutch pension fund

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell pumped in €2 billion in rescue payments to its Dutch pension fund during the second quarter as it recovered to the 105% minimum funding level on June 30.

Shell Dutch Pension Fund Melt Down Recovery Plan

In December 2008, based on information provided by the website royaldutchshellplc.com, the Financial Times and other news organizations, including the International Herald Tribune reported the the Shell Dutch Pension Fund was substantially underfunded and that employee contributions would have to increase.

Shell put 2 bln eur into Dutch pension fund in Q2

Shell said earlier this year it would need to increase contributions to its pension funds, after turmoil in financial markets decreased the value of their assets.

Shell Pays Extra $2.9 Billion Into Pension Fund

July 23 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, contributed an additional 2 billion euros ($2.9 billion) to its pension fund after falling below a regulatory threshold.

Final-salary pensions are now ‘finished’

June 7, 2009

Final-salary pensions are now ‘finished’

Your benefits will be scaled back.

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Pension experts last week said that final-salary schemes were “finished” after three big British firms moved to reduce members’ benefits.

BP said on Tuesday that it would close its final-salary scheme for anyone joining after April 2010. A day later, Barclays said existing members would stop accruing benefits in its scheme, a move expected to hit 18,000 employees. On Friday, Morrisons, the supermarket group, said it would scrap its final-salary scheme for 4,500 existing members.

“These are just the latest major companies to throw in the towel: the writing’s been on the wall for many years,” said Ros Altmann, a pensions expert and former Treasury adviser.

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File of outspoken articles about Royal Dutch Shell 2004 – 2009

File of outspoken articles about Royal Dutch Shell published by this website since 2004.

BP yields to pressure and closes final salary pension scheme to new members

Royal Dutch Shell, BP’s main rival, continues to offer a final salary scheme to its UK workforce, but BP’s move is likely to prompt fresh speculation that Shell will follow its competitor’s lead.

Shell to pump $5bn into pension in ’09

Global Pensions

NETHERLANDS– Royal Dutch Shell plans to inject US$5bn into its pension fund in 2009, chief financial officer Peter Voser told analysts yesterday.

In a presentation about the firm’s first quarter returns, Voser said the increased contribution amount, up from $1.6bn in 2008, is driven by regulatory and other legal requirements.

Voser said: “The sharp decline in the world markets at the end of 2008 has left pension deficits for many companies, and Shell is not immune from that.” 

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Shell Pensions 80% Funded, Contributions Raised To Fill Gap

Shell's contribution to the fund has risen from 5% to 23.6% and the employee contribution has risen from 2% to 8% of salaries, the company said in an update posted on its Web site Saturday. The increased payments should bring the pension's funding ratio to 105% within three years and 127% by 2023, the company said.

Revealed: bosses’ huge pension pots: Jeroen van der Veer to receive £1,189,285 per year

Two directors have already amassed pension funds which will pay them more than £1m a year on retirement. Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive of oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, has accrued a nest egg worth almost £1.2m;

Shell reduces equities to meet recovery plan

Part of the new arrangement means the fund will now not pay indexation compensation to pensioners from 1 July, as previously stated.

Shell pours more money into its stricken Dutch pension scheme

Financial News Online Mark Cobley
13 Apr 2009 

Oil group Royal Dutch Shell has unveiled a multi-million euro rescue package that will increase pension contributions by a factor of more than six to its stricken Dutch scheme, which slid into deficit during the financial crisis last year.
SOURCE ARTICLE (SUBSCRIPTION)

Shell Pension Fund Smoke & Mirrors

EXTRACT FROM EMAIL RECEIVED FROM JONATHAN MORT, LEGAL ADVISOR (AND MANAGER?), SHELL SOUTH AFRICA PENSION FUND: It is apparently my draft response (per the email of 15 February 2009) to Mr Purchase (on 18 February 2009) which has driven you to the conclusions of conspiracies, collaborations and unethical conduct so liberally sprinkled through your article. The truth is more mundane, entirely proper, and (sadly for your website) considerably less newsworthy than the spectacular claims made in your draft article.

Shell South Africa Pension Fund: Ken Purchase email with Richard Wiseman, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Do you stand by your comments that the trustees and Shell are totally independent when the outside professional is formatting his advice and response to me after consulting Wanjiru.Kirima and others who I believe, but may be wrong, are funded by Shell?

Response from Jonathan Mort, legal advisor (and manager?), Shell South Africa Pension Fund

I refer to the draft article you intend publishing on your website http//royaldutchshellplc.com, as set forth in an email from yourself to Mr Brandjes on 25 March 2009 at 18h28. Thank you for giving me the opportunity of correcting some facts of which you may not have been aware.

Shell South Africa Pension Fund: Email response 27 March 2009 from Richard Wiseman, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

From: <[email protected]>
Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2009 10:22:14 +0100
To: <[email protected]>
Cc: <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: Royal Dutch Shell Pension Fund Conspiracy and Deception

Just to confirm, we have nothing to add to the replies already given to Mr Purchase.

Regards

Richard Wiseman

Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer
Royal Dutch Shell plc
Shell Centre, London SE1 7NA

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EMAIL FROM JOHN DONOVAN TO MICHIEL BRANDJES, COMPANY SECRETARY & GENERAL COUNSEL, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC: SENT 25 MARCH 2009

Printed below is a draft article. It contains my interpretation of the information contained in email correspondence supplied to me by Shell SA retiree, Mr Ken Purchase. No doubt you will advise if any of the emails are not authentic. If I do not hear from you by close of business on Friday 27 March, I will take it that there is no dispute or challenge over authenticity, stated facts, nor my interpretations or conclusions, and will state as such.

Pages 6 & 7 from current issue Shell SPA News: of interest to Shell UK pensioners

CLICK HERE TO READ PDF FILE (TEXT CAN BE COPIED) OF PAGES 6 AND 7 CURRENT ISSUE OF SPA NEWS 

(ALLOW TIME TO LOAD)

INCLUDES CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN SHELL UK CHAIRMAN, JAMES SMITH, AND BOB CRAIG, REPRESENTING SHELL UK PENSIONERS

News headlines file for Royal Dutch Shell Pension Problems

Selection of links to news articles about Shell Pension Fund Problems which are undermining confidence in the proper administration of the funds.

Beady eye for the small print

Lex (March 19) states “Royal Dutch Shell’s announcement yesterday of an $8.3bn hole in its pension fund is a sign of the times”. In fact Shell disclosed the underfunding quite clearly when it issued its 2008 results on January 29, though it was buried rather deep in the notes.

Theories of rational behaviour are facing crisis

Second, Shell is to spend an extra $5bn-$6bn on plugging its pension deficit. But Shell is nowhere near insolvent and its pension fund has decades to play with. The deficit figure may be interesting information for investors. Why it should require the diversion of much-needed cash flow right now is a different question.
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