Only a fifth of occupational pension schemes will be on a defined benefit basis by the year 2018, according to a recent survey by Bacon & Woodrow. And employee-sponsored health and welfare insurance contracts will be the norm for over half of UK employees in the first quarter of the next century - compared to none today.

The survey of senior human re-sources and finance personnel, representing over 500,000 employees, found that 29% of companies provide financial advice to workers at present, but that almost half will have such a system in place by 2018. Day centres or financial support for employees’ elderly relatives will also be implemented for 21% of employees compared to 2% today.