EUROPE - Around 5% of Europe's top 500 companies have severely underfunded pension liabilities, research by rating agency Standard & Poor's shows.
The figure is based on year end 2001 which, given the fall in stock market values, makes it likely that such liabilities will have increased over the past year.
S&P said that such liabilities would continue to be considered in its company rating calculations.
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.