Multinationals feel pensions are ‘out of control’

With the mounting cost of pension schemes and the increasing complexity of government regulations, most multinational employers lack the control they would like over their retirement benefits, according to research.

A study of more than 100 large multinationals by consultant Hewitt Associates found that a surprising number do not have annual objectives (64%) or written global strategies (60%) for retirement plans.

In addition, less than half the companies polled ranked themselves as ‘in control’ of the following items related to retirement:

  • aligning with business strategy

  • managing costs

  • managing risk

  • optimising processes

  • enabling employees

  • executing globally.

“We were struck by the evident lack of control reported by many global companies which participated in this survey”, said Raj Mody, retirement strategy consultant for Hewitt Associates.

“Retirement plans have suffered from some of the worst financial market conditions and more recently have been affected by corporate profitability problems as well as the financial effect of increasing life expectancy,” he said.

Most companies identified managing risk and controlling the costs of their global retirement plans as their top two priorities in the coming years.

Employee concerns took a back seat for 31% of the companies that had established formal annual retirement objectives.

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