UK - Trustees have been warned it is only a matter of time before they are sued by members over "dodgy investment policies".
Former Boots head of corporate finance John Ralfe called the current practice of having high equity weightings a “straight bet”.
He likened it to trying to pay members’ pensions by either buying lottery tickets or putting the scheme’s money on horse races.
Ralfe said the standard practice of “lifestyling” for personal pensions - shifting away from equities to bonds on approach to retirement - is being ignored by companies and trustees.
He reasoned that because the number of mature schemes – both large and small – with an equity weighting of 70% was so high, it was only a matter of time before a large company scheme collapsed.
He said: “Trustees are afraid their members will lose out through poor equity markets and the unwillingness or inability of the company to inject cash.
“Trustees have very onerous fiduciary responsibilities and could find themselves being sued for dodgy investment policy.
“A major UK company with tens of thousands of members will go bust with a big deficit.”
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has announced it will shrink its board by more than one-third as part of a governance overhaul to make it "agile and more appropriate".
Smaller FTSE 350 defined benefit (DB) schemes were nearly 15 percentage points less well-funded than larger schemes in 2017, according to a Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) analysis.
The advent of collective pension systems could help the UK avoid demographic challenges which will make it "impossible" for society to help savers in retirement, experts say.