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Kellogg's, IBM, Marks and Spencer and Standard Life awarded the new Pension Quality Mark

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Marks and Spencer and Kellogg's are among the first seven companies to receive the Pension Quality Mark for commitment to their defined-contribution (DC) schemes.

The seven firms who have received the accolade from the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) also include Accenture, IBM, Standard Life, BG Group and The Royal College of Physicians.

The Pension Quality Mark, which has the support of Government and The Pensions Regulator, is awarded to employers that demonstrate the value of their DC scheme, make workplace pensions more attractive to staff, help staff understand pensions and encourage them to join up.

Joanne Segars, NAPF chief executive, said: "The Pension Quality Mark is an exciting new initiative that will benefit both employers and employees. It shows these employers' commitment to encouraging their staff to save for retirement, which is becoming ever more vital."

"The Pension Quality Mark will also help to rebuild and promote public confidence in workplace pensions. I urge more employers to apply so that they can tell the story of their good quality schemes with confidence."

And Lynn Collins, head of corporate pensions at Marks and Spencer, added: "We are delighted to have been awarded the Pensions Quality Mark. It will give us an edge over our competitors and makes sound business sense. We always try to be competitive and offer great benefits and this pension scheme is a good example of our approach to reward."