UK - The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has welcomed the government's consultation on risk sharing for pension schemes, but called for greater flexibility on plan design in a research paper.
Nigel Peaple, director of policy, NAPF, said: "If pensions law is to be fit for the 21st century, it must get the balance right between protecting the benefits of members and making it easier for employers to provide risk sharing schemes.
"Flexibility is essential. The form of provision should be determined by what is appropriate for the employer and employees concerned, not by the legislative environment. Our proposals, for alternative approaches on risk sharing, aim to stabilise, maintain and expand DB schemes and Collective DC schemes."
The NAPF also said it supported greater risk sharing in defined contribution (DC) schemes, most notably collective DC arrangements and super trusts.
The announcement came as the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) released the latest results of the PPF 7800 index, which measures the aggregate funding position of approximately 7800 UK DB schemes.
The results showed the aggregate funding position fell to a deficit of £36.7bn (US$64.7bn) at the end of August, from a deficit of £24.1bn at the end of July, compared to a surplus of £59.1bn at the end of August 2007.
Overall, total deficits of schemes in deficit increased to £91.6bn from £80.1bn the previous month and more than double the previous years' level of £43bn.
Scheme surpluses also fell, from £56.0bn at the end of July to £54.9bn. This compares to the surplus of £102bn in August 2007.
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