UK stationery, magazine and book retailer WH Smith is to implement a new pension scheme for its employees which is such a departure from the norm that it has been described as 'groundbreaking' by market commentators, Investment and Pensions Europe's online site has reported.

The company needed to restructure its pension scheme following the decision to separate its distribution and retail operations into distinct organizations from the start of August.

It had been expected the WH Smith would simply do the same to its pension plan, by dividing it in two as well. However, instead trustees of the high street bookstore have taken the decision to maintain one single pension scheme but compartmentalized it into two sections.

Naming WH Smith’s advisors, law firm Mayer, Brown, Rowe and Maw as its source, IPE has reported that within the single pension plan the assets and liabilities of each section will be separately valued and accounted for to maintain a two section format.

The new system will enable employees of the two separated WH Smith operations to have distinct pension provision, while also enjoying the strength and security of the ongoing original umbrella plan.