Independent News & Media has moved to address serious concerns among staff and trustees of its employee pension funds.

Staff in its contributory pension plan, which was restructured in 2013 and is now to be wound up, were facing cuts of more than 50% in some cases in the expected value of their retirement savings.

It is understood that following negotiations with the trustees, INM has agreed to make contributions of over €50m between now and 2023 between its management pension scheme and the employee scheme.

The company was required under the minimum standard fund rules to put €24m into the employee defined benefit scheme.

According to a joint statement issued this morning by the company and the pension trustees, INM has agreed to pay €36m into that fund.

That includes an ex gratia payment of €4m for members over the age of 62 which, it is understood, should allow them to purchase annuities that would give them between 80% and 90% of their pension expectations.

The National Union of Journalists has welcomed what it said was the "progress made in preventing the immediate closure of the defined benefit pension scheme at Independent Newspapers".

NUJ Acting General Secretary Séamus Dooley said: "While the union remains opposed to the closure of the schemes by a solvent and profitable company, the decision to continue pension contributions until 2023 is a positive development and is a significant breakthrough following a strong trade union campaign."