UK - Pension fund buyouts and trapped surpluses were high on company agendas, according to data released by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Some 27% of all the 193 companies surveyed said they were considering a buyout, the figure increased to 35% when focussing specifically on those with defined benefit schemes.
However, Marc Hommel, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, warned: “Attractive as the prospect may be to some, selling a pension scheme is not always in the best interests of the employer and pension scheme members.”
Hommel added: “There are many options open to employers that want to reduce the pension risk to their businesses including keeping the pension scheme and managing it differently. The optimal solution will be unique to each company.”
The survey document stated there would likely be “continued imagination” in solutions dealing with longevity risk.
This research came a day after pension fund buyout firm, Paternoster, announced its volume of business had significantly increased over 2007.
Over half of the firms surveyed with over 5,000 employees said they were concerned about not having access to trapped surpluses.
Most of this number were considering one off deficit payments in the following year or increased cash contributions over the next three years.
Of the 82% of companies offering defined contribution schemes, less than half were confident they were covering their reputational, financial and operational risks.
Hommel concluded: “We expect to see greater imagination in pension provision in future, with companies introducing new arrangements that give them much better value for the considerable amounts they are spending.”