CB Richard Ellis has angered many of its senior UK employees by axing their final salary pension scheme, it emerged today

Around 150 employees, mostly former partners of St Quintin and CB Hillier Parker which were bought out by CBRE, have been informed that their final salary pension scheme is to be closed subject to a period of consultation. The scheme was closed to new members several years ago, and CBRE is proposing to bring the affected members into its general pension scheme.

What has particularly upset the employees affected, it is understood, is that no compensation package is being offered.

CBRE is following many other companies that have scrapped their final salary pension schemes because they are too expensive. A final salary pension guarantees a percentage of earnings on retirement, while the increasingly common defined contribution scheme makes no promises.

During the financial boom of the 1980s and 1990s, company pensions were prosperous and those who retired could enjoy a wealthy pension. But poor stockmarket returns, longer life expectancy and poor tax incentives mean that now just one in five companies offers a final salary scheme.