Premier Foods chief executive Robert Schofield is set to pull the plug on the manufacturer’s final salary pension scheme.

Schofield suggested the group might have to put an end to the scheme as Premier continues to wrestle with a debt of £1.3bn.

Premier, which yesterday unveiled a 5% drop in sales for the past six months, is one of the largest listed companies to retain a final salary scheme. The maker of Hovis and Mr Kipling currently employs around 17,000 staff.

Earlier this year Nestlé found itself facing the threat of strike action over planned changes to its own final salary pension plan. Workers at the world’s largest food manufacturer will vote on whether to strike in the coming weeks.

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Hovis and Mr Kipling grow share but Premier profits slide (4 August 2010)