UK – A new study by Incomes Data Services has found that pension contributions made by employers have risen by 25% over the past two years to a total of more than six billion pounds (8.95 billion euros).

“The findings are based on the latest annual reports and accounts for more than 330 major pension schemes,” the UK-based research firm said in a statement. “The results show the vast scale of the money still flowing into pension schemes and the consequent cost pressures on companies.”

It said that the total value of pension contributions paid by the employers covered by the survey rose to more than six billion pounds in the most recent 12-month period for which figures are available.

“This total represented a rise of 14.3% on the previous year and 25% over two years,” the group said.

And so-called “special contributions” – payments to tackle deficits – now account for more than 25% of the money employers having been paying into schemes.

But nearly 10% of schemes “saw no employer contribution at all paid during the past year”.

IDS also suggested that the shift to defined contribution schemes from defined benefit needs to be handled carefully. “To avoid industrial relations and legal nightmares, consultation and employee consent to pension changes seem to be essential. If there are good economic grounds for the change, it is unlikely to be challenged.”