Hundreds of companies to stop UK Pension top-ups over coronavirus
Hundreds of companies are expected to abandon attempts to fill shortfalls in their UK pension schemes during the coronavirus crisis.
UK Pension experts suggests top-up contributions will be cut by at least £500m.
Debenhams has already missed a payment and the Arcadia group, which owns Topshop, plans to stop them temporarily.
Regulators are allowing companies to suspend top-ups to help businesses survive.
The pension schemes affected are the most valuable for staff because they guarantee a retirement income based on your salary while working.
But there has to be a fund in place to back the promise.
In many cases, these funds have huge shortfalls and the current crisis has made the situation much worse.
Employers are supposed to be making emergency contributions, in addition to their normal ones, to try to close the gap.
It has estimated that more than 500 companies will take advantage of an emergency measure under which the trustees of pension schemes can allow them to put off paying for 3 months.
The idea is that they will get short term breathing space and catch up with the contributions later.
The ability to agree with trustees a delay in making pension contributions will help firms to weather the present storm and continue their support to the scheme in the long-term.But it will be vital to get things back on track once the crisis is over, so that a realistic plan is put in place to deal with the shortfall.
The Pensions Regulator said it was vital to support businesses through the crisis, and where one did fail, staff would be supported by the UK’s Pension Protection Fund.