UK - The cost of regulation is spiralling out of control and dictating the form of pension provision employers choose, delegates were told yesterday.
She said: "It cannot be right that the current regulatory regime makes perfectly viable pension schemes appear unviable. It cannot be right that scheme [levy] costs have increased by 74% in just 12 months.
"And it cannot be right that the weight and cost of regulation is dictating the form of pension provision employers choose, rather than considerations about what's right for the employer and their employees dictating their form."
Segars warned it would be a "pyrrhic victory" if people who had access to decent pensions were denied access to those schemes in the future because their employer had to sacrifice the scheme in the face of additional costs and bureaucracy.
"If the government does not get this right, it really will affect scheme sponsor behaviour - not just in 2012, but in the critical period between now and 2012."
She said she wasn't scaremongering but merely stating scheme concerns.
According to the latest NAPF annual survey, published on Wednesday, one in five schemes were already proposing to level down from 2012.
Segars explained that was why the NAPF welcomed the government's risk sharing consultation earlier this year and called for a loosening up of indexation requirements.
She also said this was the reason why the trade body was critical of the Accounting Standard Board's proposals for a move to a risk-free discount rate, which could double some schemes' reported liabilities.
The NAPF yesterday anounced it was establishing a group to monitor developments and their impact on pensions and it would continue to work at a European level so there was a limitied review of EU Solvency rules.
Segars added: "This is not insignificant. If applied to UK pensions, Solvency II type standards could add almost 60% to schemes' costs.
"We cannot be complacent. And so far as EU solvency rules are concerned, the price of decent pensions in the UK is eternal vigilance."
PwC, KPMG, EY and Deloitte must break up their consultancy and audit businesses into distinct firms to provide greater focus on the "most challenging and objective audits", the competition watchdog has said.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released its first batch of guidance setting out how the guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) conversion legislation may be used to resolve unequal payments.
This week's top stories include the government spending £800,000 on a Gogglebox advert and MPs writing to The Pensions Regulator about its engagement with the Railways Pension Scheme.