UK - MORE than 6000 occupational pension schemes have closed in the last 12 months, latest figures from OPRA reveal.
The number of occupational schemes dropped from 101,014 to 94,535 in the 12 months to April this year – a fall of about 6%.
More surprisingly, the figures reveal that of the 6000 schemes that closed, more than 4000 were defined contribution schemes, with figures falling from 77,343 in 2003 to 72,700 this year.
Experts believe the reason could be the use of stakeholder plans to replace traditional DC offerings.
Mellon Human Resources & Investment Solutions head of technical services Kevin LeGrand said: “A lot of employers are switching over to stakeholder schemes for a reduction in costs, simplified administration and in anticipation of less management time.
“Although that’s the anticipation, things do not always end up like that – some employers can end up spending more time on a stakeholder scheme.”
Hewitt Bacon & Woodrow partner Kevin Wesbroom agreed. “This could be very short-sighted if companies think they are going to get rid of their investment responsibilities.”
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