Defined contribution pension schemes remain in the ascendancy in Ireland according to the annual report from An Bord Pinsean, the pensions supervisor and regulator.
According to its 2001 analysis, there was a net decrease of 71 defined benefit schemes at the end of the year despite 61 new funds being registered. There was, however, an overall increase of 6,500 in the number of new members, due largely to increases in membership of existing schemes.
The number of defined contribution funds increased 11,650 last year although almost 9,700 were non-group schemes. This increase translated into an additional 34,200 members being covered by the end of 2001.
Although the ratio of defined benefit to defined contribution schemes continues to fall, total membership of DB funds still accounts for a large proportion of the total active membership of schemes in the private and commercial state-sponsored sectors.
At the end of last year, there were 456,000 members in DB schemes opposed to 215,000 DC members. This ratio of just over two to one has been in freefall in recent years. At the end of 2000, the ratio was two and a half to one while at the end of 1999, it was three to one, a year before it was three and a half to one.