EUROPE - Europe's major companies are facing a spreading pensions blackhole, research shows.
UBS Warburg calculates an aggregate pension fund deficit of E81bn (£51bn) among 63 companies within the Eurotop300 Index – more than half of their combined profit of E154bn.
The investment bank claims the US-filed accounts of top European companies – including several high-profile UK firms – reveal clear evidence of a spreading pension black hole within many of the biggest European occupational pension schemes.
UBS was also concerned that the pensions accounting and actuarial assumptions of some European companies may give investors a misleading impression of employment costs and liabilities.
UBS said fears over the unfunded foreign pension schemes of UK companies could adversely affect the profitability of the firms in the future.
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.
Welplan Pensions has triggered its exit from the master trust market, with just a few days to go until The Pensions Regulator's (TPR) application deadline.