Fujitsu is to invest £800 million in defined-benefit pension schemes for its UK staff, highlighting the Japanese company’s commitment to the UK market as it frees up cash for further business growth.
The company announced that it has cut the deficit in its UK subsidiary’s pension scheme after negotiating a reduced ongoing annual contribution, freeing up funds within its UK business for further investment and growth. The £800 million will be split between three pension funds, benefitting over 21,000 current and former employees.
Fujitsu has contracts with a range of large public and private sector organisations, providing services to a range of government departments including a deal with DWP to provide shared services to a number of other departments. Last year the company signed a £20 million deal with BAA to supply networking at Heathrow’s Terminal 2, and signed a five-year broadband delivery deal with the Post Office, said to be worth more than £500 million.
Duncan Tait, CEO of Fujitsu UK & Ireland, said that the investment from Fujitsu Limited in Japan underlines both the company’s willingness to invest in the UK, and the company’s ongoing commitment to its staff.
“We have supported UK business across both public and private sectors for more than 40 years and this announcement underlines our commitment to continue doing so far into the future,” he said.
“Fujitsu already plays a major role in supporting the UK economy; our 2012 investment in the UK was close to £50m, including more than £14m spent on R&D. Our total investment is more than £3bn. This move only strengthens our ability to contribute to economic growth on these shores."
He added: “The ability to safeguard the long-term future of our most valuable asset, our employees, has been one of the defining factors in making the UK & Ireland a competitive place to do business."
Fujitsu currently has around 14,000 employees across the UK, recruiting 1,800 employees in the past year. A third of new recruits were in the vital under 25 age bracket, with Fujitsu claiming that it will maintain this level of recruitment for younger staff.
Fujitsu also supports an ecosystem of SMEs in the UK, with its supply chain said to generate £215 million in revenues for other UK firms.
The investment was welcomed by Richard Holway, analyst at TechMarketView, who praised Fujitsu’s commitment to creating jobs for young people, and the wider contribution to the UK economy.
“Apart from the sheer magnitude of the transfer, the implications for Fujitsu UK are significant. The deficits in the pension schemes had been a major brake on further investment in the UK business (eg M&A) The payment will reduce Fujitsu UK’s annual contributions significantly,” he said.
“This is a huge ‘Vote of Confidence’ in Fujitsu UK and its management under Duncan Tait.”
Last year Fujitsu staff agreed to new terms on pay and pensions following a series of strikes and union action.