UK - The part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland has cut its pension costs by £144m ($230m) compared with the first half of last year.
In its interim results, the bank revealed payments relating to the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Pension Fund had fallen to £260m in the first six months of 2010 - about 36% lower than the first half of 2009, when costs hit £404m.
However, RBS warned the scheme funding position - which showed a £700m surplus at the last valuation in 2007 - would likely display a deficit following the latest assessment in March, this year.
Following this valuation, the group and scheme trustees will agree the level of contributions to be paid to the fund.
In a statement, RBS said: "Given the current economic and financial market difficulties and the prospect that they may continue over the near and medium term, the group may experience increasing pension deficits or be required or elect to make further contributions to its pension schemes and such deficits and contributions could be significant."
This follows a decision in August, 2009 to cap future increases in pensionable pay at the lower of 2% per year or the rate of inflation - a move which resulted in a £2.15bn gain on the company balance sheet.
Lloyds and HBOS - who both implemented identical scheme changes - achieved combined savings of £1.4bn.
This week's edition of Professional Pensions is out now.
Nearly 60% of UK employers consider defined contribution (DC) master trusts to be the "most suitable" pension fund for their employees, according to research by Buck.
Companies which have tried to dodge their pension duties by changing their identities are being "hunted" by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) in a crackdown on non-compliance with auto-enrolment (AE).
Removing liquidity restrictions would enable DC funds to capitalise on the potentially higher and safer returns that DB schemes have benefitted from, says Patrick Marshall.