UK - Falls in equity values may force electricity provider the Viridian Group to restart contributions into its closed £814m final salary pension scheme.
The owner of Northern Ireland Electricity closed its final salary scheme to new entrants in 1998 and now runs a defined contribution scheme for new employees.
At its last actuarial evaluation in March 2002 the scheme was £76.9m in surplus under FRS17.
However, a Viridian spokesman said: “Following falls in equity markets, the group has been monitoring the funding position of the scheme and this has indicated that renewed contributions may be required from next year.”
Meanwhile Northern Foods reported a £2.1m increase in pension costs during the first half of the financial year, though the food company expects this to fall in the second half of the year.
In September workers at Northern Foods agreed to increase their pension contributions from 5% to 7% for staff on a 1/60th entitlement and from 3.5% to 5% for those on a 1/80th pension in order to save their £430m final salary scheme.
Standard Life has increased exposure to risk assets in three out of five funds in its Active Plus and Passive Plus workplace pension ranges.
Some 48% of employers are unaware of the services or help they offer to members of their defined contribution (DC) schemes, according to Aon.
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