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.
Most respondents in this week's Pensions Buzz do not think businesses should be able suspend AE contributions if in financial distress.
Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell has lost the appeal against his section 72 conviction and sentence for failing to hand over information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
This week's top stories include Marsh and McLennan Companies agreeing to buy JLT, and the home secretary calling for AE to be scrapped in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
Lesley Titcomb says the watchdog wants closer interactions with pension funds to spot problems sooner and act before having to use its more stringent powers