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Two thirds of UK DB providers rule out DC by 2007

UK- More than two thirds of the UK’s largest final-salary pension scheme providers have said they will not move to a defined contribution (DC) pension scheme in the next five years according to research by JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management.

The report, DC Industry Survey 2002, says that 69% of companies surveyed who run a DB scheme do not intend to introduce a DC scheme within the next five years. Survey results are based upon responses from 138 of the UK's largest 350 pension funds representing assets of around £213 billion.

Many large companies have come under fire recently for closing their defined benefit schemes either completely or to new entrants. Moving from a DB to DC scheme shifts the investment risk from employer to employee and contribution levels are typically lower.

Although the results appear to contradict the trend reflected by numerous recent closures, the survey shows commitment to DB schemes is waning. In last year’s edition of the survey, three quarters of DB providers said they had no intention of launching a DC scheme within the next five years.

Of the remaining DB providers intending to open a DC scheme, 12% said it would be within one year while 9% said they will do so within five. Ten percent of those surveyed are unsure of their plans.

Arno Kitts, head of UK institutional investment, said: "the fall in the percentage of DB scheme providers who say they have no plans to open a DC scheme is small but, clearly, providers are changing their minds.

“The shift from DB to DC provision is undeniable and we would expect to see the trend increasing significantly, in the next 10 years in particular.”

JPMorgan Fleming manages more than £100 billion in pensions assets worldwide.

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