UK supermarket company J Sainsbury has said it expects to raise its pension contributions by around £15m (US$23.7m) in 2003/04 to cover a funding deficit.

The UK’s second-largest supermarket chain said it was also lifting the level of employee contributions to its final salary pension scheme to 7% from 4.25%.

“These actions will go a long way to reduce our funding deficit and are in the best interests of both our colleagues and our shareholders,” chief executive Peter Davis was quoted as saying by Reuters.