uk The 30 per cent fall in the stock market over the past 12 months is bad news for those coming up to retirement. Since a large chunk of pension fund cash is invested in equities, a fall in share prices translates into a drop in future retirement income.

The pain is most likely to be felt by those in a money-purchase scheme, where the pension is entirely dependent on the size of the pension pot that has been built up. It is estimated there are up to 20 million people with an occupational or personal pension of this kind.