IBEC, the employers group, reports that the crisis in company pensions continues, with many defined benefits pension schemes being under-capitalised (see here and here).  Of the 253 employers surveyed 47% indicated that their defined benefit scheme did not comply with the minimum funding standard set by the Pensions Board, and 62% said they had faced difficulties in funding their scheme. Of those schemes that were having difficulties 63% have so far closed the scheme to new entrants.  29% have made a monetary contribution to the scheme to bolster it.  33% have increased employer contributions and 10% more are to do so on 2010. 24% have increased employee contributions.  24% have introduced career averaging for final pension rather than payments being based on final salary.  And 8% have closed their scheme.  At present, the majority of Irish private sector workers do not have an occupational pension.  Whichever way one looks at it company defined benefit schemes are in trouble and the issue needs attention if we are to avoid financial difficulties for workers when they retire, who having paid into a scheme in good faith for many years suddenly find themselves adjusting to a new reality.

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