UK - Over 40% of UK defined benefit (DB) pension schemes are expected to have closed to future accrual within the next five to 10 years, up from the current 6%, Watson Wyatt has found.
Kathryn Armitstead, senior consultant, Watson Wyatt, said: "Our survey found organisations acutely focused on the need to manage the cost and risk of DB pensions."
"A small but growing number of companies are ceasing final salary accrual for existing members and this trend is expected to accelerate.
"Others are increasing member contributions or reducing the rate of accrual," Armitstead added.
The survey revealed an increased focus on defined contribution (DC) provisions, with companies improving the level of contributions and seeking ways to improve member engagement.
Employers would also be seeking to address DB benefits that have already built up.
Half the respondents expected to have attempted to remove their DB legacy - through a pension buyout or other type of transaction - within the next 10 years.
It was also found the increased employer contributions to DC pensions were largely being focused on members who were willing to contribute more, with increased employer contributions mostly in the form of extending matching contributions.
The Watson Wyatt Pension Plan Design Survey 2008 focused on larger private sector pension schemes with total assets of over £230bn.
Some 75% of the 134 organisations in the survey had more than 1,000 employees in the UK and 30 of the FTSE 100 were represented.
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