Workers given pension warnings

WORKERS saving into final salary pension schemes could face further cuts to their pensions as firms struggle to meet costs, a new report has warned.

The study by research firm Incomes Data Services (IDS) says that the recent closure of many of these schemes to new employees could be "just the start", and claims that companies may try to reduce costs by cutting death and ill-health benefits offered to existing contributors.

In final salary, or defined benefit, pension schemes employees pay a set contribution rate into the fund, but the employer effectively underwrites the scheme.

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The rising costs of funding these schemes has led many employers to opt for money purchase or defined contribution schemes instead, where the employee carries the risk of underperformance.

The report’s editor Helen Sudell said: "The widespread closure of final salary schemes to new entrants is just the beginning of a much bigger movement away from paternalistic provision.

"There can be little doubt that many employers will have to reduce future benefits at some point for those staff still in these schemes," concluded Sudell .