Troubled Dutch retailer Ahold has said it will have to pay an extra €13m (US$14.9m) in pension charges this year to cover losses on equity investments.

Ahold is one of the many companies being forced to top up staff pension funds due to falling stock markets.

“The coverage ratio of the pension fund has fallen. The pensions premium, which depends on investment results and inflation, has been raised by €13m for 2003,” an Ahold spokeswoman was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Ahold will pay a total of €63.5m to its pension fund this year, but the contribution by employees in 2003 will remain unchanged at €6.8m.