UK - Brian Wilson, head of benefits research at Bacon & Woodrow (B&W), has spoken out against news reports suggesting that company pension schemes are unsafe.
In a conversation with IPN yesterday, Wilson said that the latest B&W report on pension scheme underfunding has been misinterpreted.
“The fact that company pension schemes are underfunded does not necessarily mean that these schemes are unsafe,” he said.
“It simply means that they need more money. Most companies have been increasing their funding levels anyway”. B&W revealed 83 schemes report funding levels in excess of 100%, including 20 reporting a funding level of 125% or more, up from 14 schemes last year.
Wilson also spoke out against media articles suggesting inaccuracies within B&W’s report.
“There are concerns that our calculations of company pension costings are inaccurate,” he said. “However, we have based our calculations on the pension disclosures contained in companies’ latest financial reports.”
B&W’s study of companies in the FTSE 100 revealed that a wide variation in the funding levels of pension schemes exists, and 17 schemes report a funding level of less than 100% compared to only seven last year. In one instance, the size of the deficit is nearly £170m.
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