Occupational Pensions

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 12 July 2007.

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Photo of Peter Lilley Peter Lilley Conservative, Hitchin and Harpenden

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of public companies with underfunded company pension schemes.

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Estimating the number of public companies with underfunded defined benefit company pension schemes is complicated by several factors. Identification of the sponsoring company is not straightforward since many schemes will be directly connected to a subsidiary or holding company. In addition not only are valuations (and therefore deficits) calculated in different ways, they are not calculated frequently. Changes in the economic climate such as those we are seeing at the moment also alter the funding situation of schemes to a large degree.

In December 2006, the Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund produced aggregate funding figures based on a group of defined benefit schemes in their joint publication 'The Purple Book'. While these figures do not cover every defined benefit scheme they are representative. This detailed publication can be found in the House of Commons Library and on the Pensions Regulator's website at:


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