UK – Mercer Human Resource Consulting is hosting a series of half-day seminars on the challenge of moving to a defined contribution pension scheme.

The consultant has decided to hold four UK seminars to look at the challenges involved in switching to a defined contribution scheme, the subject being “Are defined contribution pension plans meeting expectations?”.

The session will also address the issue of how companies can meet their business objectives and member expectations, as well as how to ensure plan success. Future developments in defined contribution provision will also be discussed.

The dates for the free half-day seminars are as follows:

Edinburgh – Tuesday September 9
London – Tuesday September 16
Leeds – Wednesday September 17
Leatherhead – Thursday September 18

Whether an increasing number of companies are closing their defined benefit schemes and switching to defined contribution schemes is subject to debate.

In a survey released in March, the Association of Consulting Actuaries says that almost three-quarters of UK defined benefit pension schemes are now closed to new entrants. Yesterday, consultant Watson Wyatt, however, said that not as many schemes are making the switch as first thought.

They are, instead, looking at alternative ways of reducing the costs and risk of running a pension scheme, such as increasing member contribution rates, reducing the level of benefits or using alternative structures such as career average or cash balance plans.