Number of final salary pension schemes falls

The number of FTSE 250 companies that provide defined benefit (DB) pension schemes to all employees has drastically fallen, according to research from Pension Capital Strategies (PCS).

The FTSE 250 and Their Pensions Disclosures report found only 15 companies (6%) in the FTSE 250 still provide DB benefits to a significant number of employees.

In total, 144 companies have any DB pension scheme at all, of which 86 still provide DB benefits to more than a handful of current employees.

The report also showed the estimated total deficit in pension schemes of £11 billion at the end of June 2010, representing an improvement of £1 billion on the position a year ago.

Charles Cowling, managing director at Pension Capital Strategies, said: “Despite an increase in confidence in equities over the past 12 months – with improved performance resulting in better funding positions – we are firmly of the view the next two years will see the death of the overwhelming majority of further provision in private sector final salary pension schemes.

“More than ever before, pension liabilities are impacting decisions in the boardroom. Faced with a challenging business cycle, it is not surprising companies are reacting by closing down their final salary pension schemes.”

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