UK - The National Association of Pension Funds is set to launch a major review into the standards used for accounting for pensions.
The trade body said the standards have contributed to the decline in defined benefit provision over the last ten years - which has seen the number of schemes in the private sector remaining open to new members fall from 86% to 23.1%.
It said it would hold an accounting summit later in the year to start the review and to try and find a better method of valuing pensions on company balance sheets and ensuring the survival of defined benefit provision.
NAPF chairman Lindsay Tomlinson said: "Current accounting standards have been very damaging to defined benefit provision, leading many companies to close their schemes.
"Pension funds are long term institutions but today's accounting standards fail to reflect this."
He added: "The NAPF want to find a better approach to pension accounting that balances transparency with a less volatile assessment of assets against long-term liabilities."
This comes just days after Mercer warned proposed changes to international accounting standard IAS19 could wipe £8.7bn (US$13.1bn) off reported company profits.
The consultant said the International Accounting Standards Board had tentatively concluded at public meetings that the "expected return on assets" and "interest cost" finance charges for pensions should be replaced by a net measure of interest income or expense, determined by applying the discount rate to the net defined benefit asset or liability.
It said the standards body was expected to consult in the next few months as part of an updating of the accounting standard for employee benefits that it anticipates will apply with effect from 2013.
PwC, KPMG, EY and Deloitte must break up their consultancy and audit businesses into distinct firms to provide greater focus on the "most challenging and objective audits", the competition watchdog has said.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released its first batch of guidance setting out how the guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) conversion legislation may be used to resolve unequal payments.
This week's top stories include the government spending £800,000 on a Gogglebox advert and MPs writing to The Pensions Regulator about its engagement with the Railways Pension Scheme.