UK - The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has welcomed approval from the upper house of the UK parliament on new pensions regulation that will require employers to enrol employees in pension schemes.

Late-stage amendments to the bill include the introduction of a waiting period that will allow employers three months before they enrol new employees into existing pension schemes, as well as certification that will allow them to auto-enrol employees into existing schemes of sufficient quality.

Senior policy adviser Richard Wilson said: "Our main concern is that we get on and get it sorted. At the moment, it looks OK, but it's a bit of a hostage to fortune if certification doesn't meet the new standard."

Large employers will need to start implementing the new regulations next year, and all UK employers within three years.

"We've asked the government to put out draft regulations and guidance - informally, to tell us what they're planning, even if they can't yet tell us what the regulations will say," Wilson said. "It's beginning to get to the top of our members' agendas."

In other news, DMGT, which owns the Daily Mail newspaper, is to close its final salary pension scheme for existing members two years after it closed to new members.

The group made the decision in a bid to mitigate longevity and "other risks that create cost pressures".

Pensions manager Geoffrey Staines did not respond to requests for comment before deadline.

However, the new scheme is understood to share risks more equitably between the sponsor and scheme members, allowing scheme members to buy an annuity on the open market after retirement.

Finally, British American Tobacco has reallocated a £70m (€77.8m) investment in funds of hedge funds within its UK pension scheme.

The hedge fund allocation made up 5% of the scheme's overall portfolio.

Details of the reallocation were unavailable today. However, the move comes as part of a de-risking strategy for a mature pension scheme with around 1,000 active members and 9,000 pensioners.