UK - Defined benefit pension schemes reached an aggregate deficit of £194.5bn (US$277.5bn) in December 2008, figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal.
In June 2007, prior to the worst of the declines in equity and bond values, schemes posted an aggregate surplus of £130.4bn, amounting to a total funding fall of £324.9bn in 18 months.
However, the ONS also noted a sea change in the way UK sponsors view investments and asset allocations, with funds increasingly lowering their holdings in equities. During the 1990s, the average DB plan held more than 70% of its assets in listed equities, falling to just over 60% by 2007.
Similarly, equity holdings were overwhelmingly UK-focused, with around three-quarters of equity investments in UK companies. By 2007 this had fallen to a mix of 58% UK and 42% overseas.
Recent research by consultant Mercer found the deficit of FTSE350 schemes to be £33bn, having increased from £13bn at the end of 2007.
An innovative funding structure has been agreed for Croydon Pension Fund. However, there are some concerns about the arrangement. Stephanie Baxter reports
Some 52% of red flags raised by schemes on suspected scam pension transfers involve advisers or unregulated introducers, a report by the Pension Scams Industry Group (PSIG) has claimed.
The Norfolk Pension Fund has been successful as the lead plaintiff in a class action case that went to jury trial in California involving securities fraud.
In this week's Pensions Buzz, we want to know whether bosses should have to pay into the same staff DB scheme as their workers rather than their own executive pension fund.