79% Expect to face DB funding woes

More than three-quarters (79%) of employers with final salary pensions expect to face future funding difficulties, according to the latest annual survey from the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF).

However, figures revealed that just 10% of final salary schemes closed to new staff in 2004, compared with 26% in 2003 and 19% in 2002.

The fall in the number of scheme closures comes as the costs of providing pension benefits are significantly increasing.

Some 71% of schemes have increased employer contributions in order to address funding pressures, with 41% increasing employee contributions.

Only one-in-three members (34%) of final salary schemes are active, while 37% are pensioners and 29% are deferred members who have left the employer but retain rights under the pension scheme.

Public sector pension schemes appear to be more commonly communicated overall with some 80% of public sector employers using an annual newsletter – compared with 72% of private sector firms.

NAPF’s Annual survey 2004 is available by calling Mo Choudhury on 020 7808 1314.