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Researcher calls for pension fund database

UK – An academic researcher has called for a database of pension fund reports to be set up, saying it would inform the current debate about pensions.

Professor Paul Klumpes, holder of the Swiss Re Chair in Risk Accounting at Nottingham University Business School, points out that any informed debate on pensions policy “critically depends on the quality of information known about the financial position and performance of UK pension funds”.

“Yet, unlike publicly listed corporations, where the ‘registration’ of annual accounts has been mandatory by law for many years, there is still no authoritative database of pension fund annual reports in the UK,” Klumpes says.

“Only this will provide the requisite concrete information needed to inform debate ranging from disclosure effectiveness to pension funding and investment policy,” he says in a letter to the Financial Times.

“Both public and private sector pension funds are the most important institutions in the transformation of savings and capital in the UK economy,” he adds.

A spokeswoman at the Department of Work and Pensions said Klumpes was making an "odd comparison" between company reports and pension fund information. She added that the new regulator that will take over from the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority is to set up a database of pension fund annual return information.

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