Only seventeen per cent of final salary pension schemes are still open to new members, according to Aon Consulting.
The record low, Aon says, means the still open defined benefit schemes are now ‘prized assets’ in the battle to keep employees in their jobs.
A combination of factors has been attributed to the difficult conditions under which companies struggle to keep their defined benefit (DB) pension schemes going. Aon’s 2008 Employer Survey found that tighter regulation of pension schemes, volatile market conditions, strengthening of longevity assumptions and fears over future developments in accounting for pensions all contribute to this tough environment. In the same survey last year, 28 per cent of DB schemes were still open to new members, which was also down from 2003’s figure of around 50 per cent.