UK - Open final salary schemes within the private sector are down to the "bare bones", the conference was told.
The NAPF’s annual survey showed that the number of final salary schemes closing to new members had slowed from 26% last year to 10%.
But delegates heard that far from being welcome news, the fact that the rate of closures had slowed meant that there were few schemes outside of the public sector left that were still open.
The NAPF surveyed 412 of its members and found that 71pc of schemes believed that their costs had increased signifi-cantly over the past five years. To cope with their funding difficulties, 71% had raised their employer contributions while 41% had increased employee contributions.
The survey found that 21% of schemes had reduced future benefit accruals, while 15% had raised their scheme’s ret-irement age.
Over a quarter of firms were planning to cut future benefit accruals while 15% were considering increasing their scheme’s retirement age.
Additionally, 2% of companies were considering axing all forms of pensionprovision. Instead of an occupational scheme, they would offer employees access to a basic stakeholder product.
NAPF chief executive Chris-tine Farnish said: “Even the most committed firms are now struggling to manage costs and it seems that we are down to the bare bones of DB provision within the private sector.
“The picture which emerges from the survey is one of firms struggling to maintain a commitment to providing decent pensions for their staff, while policymakers – far from supporting their efforts – impose further burdens. In imposing those burdens, they are threatening millions of tomorrow’s pensioners with the prospect of a breadline retirement.”
This week's edition of Professional Pensions is out now.
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