UK - Deregulatory easements making it easier for final salary schemes to function must be met with employer promises to keep schemes open, pensions minister Angela Eagle said.
In an exclusive interview with GP sister title Professional Pensions the Eagle said the rolling programme of deregulation would continue and she had an "open door policy" for industry suggestions.
However, she warned deregulation was not in place simply to help schemes achieve lower running costs.
She said: "If you have a suggestion from the industry to help deregulation, we need some kind of proof that it will also help DB schemes stay open. This is not a debate about how can we cut your costs for nothing in return - it is about maintaining balance.
"If we can be shown that some administrative easements would actually assist in tipping the balance between DB schemes staying open and not - so we can keep as many of the 2.7 million people currently in DB schemes keep accruing DB rights - then yes, we will certainly look at it."
Eagle said the government was committed to encouraging DB provision but a balance needed to be struck between member security "which became an issue post-Maxwell" and ensuring "we do not get into a situation where we are actively encouraging firms to close DB schemes".
She explained: "We want to do what we can to encourage [DB provision] to remain, albeit we know there are wider trends in the economy both globally and nationally that are making that harder.
"We want to see what the government can do to help but I do not think there are any magic bullets for this."
She added that many causes for the decline of DB - longevity, over-estimated returns on equities in the 60s and 70s, and FRS17 for example - were "out of the hands of the government".
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