Private sector employers are closing down their final salary schemes at a record rate, according to a new report by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF).
Its annual survey shows 17% of schemes have now shut their schemes to both new and existing members, up from 7% in the 2009 survey and just 3% in 2008, the Guardian reports.
Around a third of employers are also planning to make a similar move or make cuts to previously guaranteed benefits and NAPF says the findings indicate "a new phase in the decline of final-salary pensions".
Joanne Segars, NAPF's chief executive, adds: "The pressures on final salary pensions are relentless and their rate of decline seems to be shifting into a new gear. The rate of closures to new staff seems to have levelled off, but now those who are already in a final salary pension increasingly find themselves being locked out."
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Concerns over latest EU bank stress tests
Key parts of a stress test for European banks designed to raise investor confidence in the sector have been softened by regulators despite being seen by financial markets as too lax.
The new stress test will model the impact of a 15% fall in equity markets on bank, well below the numbers used in the 2010 test, with no discernible toughening of other key parameters, the Financial Times reports.
The European Banking Authority, created in January as the new pan-European regulatory body, is keen to gain credibility and cast off the maligned reputation of the Committee of European Banking Supervisors, its predecessor.
The 2010 stress tests, conducted last summer, were criticised at the time for being too easy, and lost credibility when Ireland - whose two biggest banks passed the tests - was forced to seek bail-out money, largely to save those banks.
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City warns on Tobin Tax plan
Business leaders and the Treasury have hit out at European proposals to hit banks with a tax on financial transactions, amid warnings it could have a damaging impact on jobs and competitiveness.
The resurrection of the tax debate was sparked by the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where members voted in favour of a Financial Transaction Tax - also known as the 'Tobin Tax' - which would be charged on every trade done by the banks, the Daily Mail reports.
However, The CBI's Brussels director Sean McGuire warns: "We have serious concerns about the introduction of a Financial Transaction Tax. This would hamper the EU's long term competitiveness as a leading centre for financial services companies, and ultimately have a negative impact on jobs and growth."
The Treasury adds: "Any action would require international coordination and the government is engaging with international partners on this issue."
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