Inflation and poor returns turn screws on defined benefit plans

Marion Dakers
FIRMS with defined benefit (DB) pension schemes are still struggling to get their funding holes under control, research out today claims.

Low investment returns coupled with heightened inflation has left FTSE 350 firms falling even further behind the funding requirements of their DB programmes.

PwC’s pension support tracker has stood at 74 out of 100 since the start of the year, it said today. The tracker, which measures a company’s financial strength against its DB pension obligations, is far below its 2007 level of 88.

“If investment returns remain low, and company earnings do not rise in line with inflation, companies will find they are paying a greater share of those profits towards covering their pension deficit,” said PwC’s Jonathon Land.