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Chevron NZ injects $14.3 mln

Chevron NZ injects $14.3 mln to fully-fund wind-up of Caltex pension scheme

By Paul McBeth

May 20 (BusinessDesk) - Chevron New Zealand, which is selling its local service station chain to Z Energy, injected $14.3 million into its Caltex pension scheme which was wound up earlier this year.

The Auckland-based subsidiary of the global oil company is quitting its New Zealand downstream businesses, selling the Caltex and Challenge! service station brands to Z for $785 million and exiting its 11 percent stake in New Zealand Refining. Chevron NZ's 2015 annual report, published today on the Companies Office, shows the oil company decided last August to wind up its staff pension scheme by February of this year with assets to be distributed this month.

The Caltex New Zealand Ltd Staff Pension Plan financial statements, filed separately this month, show Chevron made a special contribution of $14.3 million, taking total employer contributions to $14.7 million in the period from Jan. 1, 2015 through to Feb. 14, 2016. Its investment in a Fisher Funds managed fund was liquidated and the scheme held cash of $44.5 million as at Feb. 14, which was to be distributed this month to the 110 remaining members.

The last actuarial review of the scheme by Greg Lee of Aon New Zealand found the pension's deficit had narrowed to $9.1 million from $11 million in 2011 when the previous review was held. It recommended Chevron immediately contribute $661,000, make annual lump sum payments of $2.85 million in 2016 and 2017, and contribute 11.6 percent of members' salaries to meet future liabilities.

"The company contributed well in excess of this recommendation since 31 December 2014," the statement said.

The pension allowed members to contribute 5 percent of their salary while the employer put in 20 percent of a member's basic salary subject to withholding tax. It was closed to new members in 1996.

Chevron NZ more than doubled its annual profit in 2015 to $111.8 million, including a $49.1 million gain on the sale of its NZ Refining shares. Revenue fell 16 percent to $1.86 billion, a smaller decline than the 20 percent drop in cost of sales of goods to $1.69 billion as petrol companies benefited from the slump in crude oil prices.

The Commerce Commission cleared Z's acquisition of the Caltex and Challenge! brands last month on the condition 19 retail sites be sold. The deal is expected to settle onJune 1.

(BusinessDesk)

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