UK - Actuaries and employers' organisations have met the standing committee working on the Pensions Bill 2008 to promote risk sharing and the protection of current schemes.
Ian Farr, chairman, ACA, told the committee more had to be done to avoid the closure of more defined benefit (DB) schemes: "Like all the major pension organisations in this country, we are concerned that, as yet, there is not nearly enough in the bill to protect the good occupational schemes that currently exist - or did exist a few years ago until the great switch happened."
Farr continued that ACA's proposals to introduce conditional indexation and a risk sharing model, or third way between defined benefit and defined contribution (DC) schemes, had worked well in the Netherlands.
He said: "Our proposals are aimed at medium to large employers that want to, and are prepared to, share some of the investment risks of longevity with their employees.
"At the moment, these employers do not really have that choice because legislation bans conditional indexation, which is why you have seen so many final salary schemes replaced by defined contribution money purchase plans."
John Cridland, deputy director, CBI, said his organisation was broadly in favour of the bill, in particular its focus on providing a level playing field for all employees in terms of pension provision.
Cridland said: "Those on lower earnings do not currently have the benefit of employer-supported provision. Thanks to Lord Turner's report and the resulting debate, it is now clear that something is needed to help those people."
David Yeandle, deputy director of employment policy at EEF, echoed Cridland's sentiments but added the group welcomed the introduction of personal accounts in terms of auto-enrolment and modest employer contribution.
Yeadle added: "We are also very pleased that, as part of the bill, there will be we what we regard as an equally important part of the Government's pensions reform programme: the start of what I hope is going to be a rolling programme of deregulation of personal and occupational pensions."
The Pensions Bill 2008 is scheduled to return to the House of Commons, following any amendments, for the third reading, after which it will pass to the House of Lords before receiving Royal Ascent to become law.
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