The number of final salary schemes closing to new members has doubled over the past year even as a q...
The number of final salary schemes closing to new members has doubled over the past year even as a quarter of such schemes have been taking contributions holidays at the tail end of the worst bear market since the 1940s.
The result, contained in the latest NAPF Annual Survey of members, may raise questions about just what constitutes a crisis for its members.
Even NAPF chairman Peter Thompson says the fact 24% of DB schemes are taking a contributions holiday suggests "they are in good health".
84 DB schemes closed to new members in the past 12 months compared to 46 at the same time last year, because of, members say, increasing costs associated with FRS17, more red tape and poor returns on investments.
The number of schemes switching from a final salary to a money purchase basis have also doubled, from 13 last year to 25 this year - and that is up from just 6 in 2000.
NAPF chief executive Christine Farnish says the overall result of the survey suggests there are serious problems facing the pensions industry that require government action sooner rather than later.
The NAPF believes that new pensions legislation could be proposed as soon as next October, but only if the government's pensions Green Paper does address the main issues when it is published next Tuesday, and if the Treasury's review of pensions simplification and taxation issues comes out sometime soon.
The Green Paper is expected to come with at least three months of consultations, meaning the schedule is very tight if the government is serious about putting new legislation in place by the end of next year or early 2004.
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