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PwC: Companies making ‘little progress’ in boosting DB funding

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Companies are making “little progress” towards cutting the financial burden of defined benefit pension schemes, analysis from PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests.

The PwC ‘pensions support index’, which monitors the overall level of support provided by FTSE 350 firms with DB schemes, currently stands at 70 out of 100.

PwC says this is only one point higher than the figure recorded in June last year and remains significantly below the pre-recession figure of 88.

However, PwC says the index would have dropped to 60 if the European Commission had pushed ahead with plans to increase capital requirements for defined benefit pension scheme sponsors.

PwC pensions credit advisory partner Jonathon Land says: “Defined benefit pension schemes remain a huge financial burden on many companies’ balance sheets and the situation is unlikely to improve without real action from sponsors and trustees. 

“The slow economy means pension schemes cannot afford to stand still. Stakeholders will have to be more innovative in tackling their pension issues and safeguarding their members’ benefits. 

“Those companies that take steps to properly understand the options available to them will place themselves in a better position to help all their stakeholders as well as the pension scheme.”

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