UK - Ignis Asset Management is encouraging industry leaders and politicians to debate hybrid schemes.
The asset management company has launched an independent and impartial research project looking at whether hybrid schemes can help preserve the defined benefit market.
The initiative will involve research with sponsoring employers and employees analysing their attitudes to hybrid schemes - it will use the findings to put together a report to be released early in May.
The report will be circulated among the industry - including ministers - after the general election.
On Tuesday, Ignis held a private roundtable discussion on hybrid schemes involving Conservative Party pensions spokesman Nigel Waterson and other key industry figures.
Ignis Asset Management sales and marketing director Jonathan Polin (pictured) said: "Hybrid schemes are an interesting concept but people don't have a particular view about what is the right way at the moment.
"If we have qualitative and quantitative research that helps inform the debate that will be a positive."
Other asset managers have shown support for hybrid schemes, which typically offer a DB plan with a lower fixed based that is then supplemented by a DC plan.
Global Pensions previously reported that BlackRock head of institutional business for Europe, Middle East and Africa Michael O'Brien and Fidelity International head of UK institutional business Mark Miller both predict the rise of hybrid schemes in the future. (Global Pensions; February 18, 2009)
O'Brien said at the time: "DB will still be around. The cost of delivering £1 (US$1.6) of pension in DB is a lot cheaper than in DC."
In the US, at least one county has implemented a hybrid scheme.
California in October began giving new hires within Orange County the option that participate in a hybrid plan to offers a smaller DB payment with a 401(k)-style individual investment plan. (Global Pensions; October 13, 2009)
A number of pension schemes have been prompted to lock in gains with a move into bonds after the estimated deficit across FTSE 100 DB pension schemes improved by £36bn, over the 12 months ending 30 June last year, JLT Employment Benefits found.
HM Treasury has agreed in principle to give NEST a £329m contingent liability guarantee in the event of the master trust's wind up or closure.
AMP Capital has set up a dedicated team to help institutional investors, including pension funds, invest in infrastructure through direct equity allocations.