Buzz respondents were split equally over the prospect of scrapping compulsory limited price index (LPI) inflation protection for DB schemes.
Many contributors called for conditional indexation, where benefit increases are dependent on funding levels, to be introduced, although the government appears to be moving away from this option.
But a large number of supporters of the idea of scrapping LPI-linking made it clear that this should only apply to future accrual or in some cases new members. Several commentators also recognised the good intentions behind the legislation, while criticising the results.
"Compulsory LPI made company pensions far too expensive and was a key factor in their decline," said one contributor. "It also leads to lower pensions at 65 when pensioners could enjoy the money, and higher pensions at 85 when financial needs and wants tend to be much lower."
One respondent added that it was better to retain DB without inflation proofing than see more schemes close, while others pointed out that many DB schemes were set up voluntarily, before the LPI requirement was introduced.
A contributor who labelled LPI protection a "phenomenally expensive con" said: "Research has shown that if you retire at 65 and inflation averages at 3% per year, you would have to live to 93 if you have an LPI-linked pension before you drew more than a pensioner with a flat-rate pension."
But on the other side of the debate contributors questioned whether removing LPI would persuade any employers to open a new DB scheme, or change their mind over a planned closure.
Several focused on the value placed on inflation-proofing by members. One contributor said: "Inflation-protected income is what people want most and its removal would lead to further reduction in the value of benefits and may also lead to less pension saving."
Another LPI supporter said: "A flat pension reduces in value, but a pensioner's needs in retirement increase with inflation. It is clearer for people to receive a smaller pension that maintains value, to get a better understanding of how much additional saving they have to make."
Some contributors lamented the fact that the issue was so poorly understood by members. But one respondent said: "When I worked for The Pensions Advisory Service in the early 1990s one of the most common complaints was ‘my pension does not increase with prices'."
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