UK - Some 19% of pension funds responded to a question from the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) on what the British government could do to encourage defined benefit pension prevision, by saying it was "too late" to do anything.

Another 44% of the 27 defined benefit funds representing £60bn (€86.3bn) in funds under management said deregulation would help.

"The survey shows that the best way to sustain good defined benefit pensions is to allow employers greater flexibility," said NAPF director of policy Nigel Peaple.

The NAPF stated the current deregulatory review was "a real opportunity to sustain the provision of defined benefit pensions".

Another 13% of responses said "less government intervention" would help keep defined benefit schemes on the pension landscape.

Asked which part of the pension regulations should be changed, most funds made Section 75 of the 1995 Pensions Act, which covers employer debt regulations, their priority.

They replied that the paragraph should be relaxed "in cases of legitimate corporate transactions to allow transactions to take place without additional requirements being placed on the pension scheme".

This request comes only days after the UK's department for work and pensions clarified that it had never intended this section to affect legitimate scheme mergers or transactions while a sponsor continued to finance the scheme.

Next on the funds' wish list was a move to more principles-based legislation, where the outcome would be prescribed but not the process, and the return of a pension fund surplus to employers with the agreement of the trustees.