Rapid rise in employer pension contributions

Employer contributions to final salary pension schemes have soared by 50% in the past year, new research has revealed.

The value of the payments increased from £5.5bn to £8.2bn, with almost a third of the total paid in special contributions to help tackle big deficits in pension funds.

The survey of 284 schemes by pay analysts Incomes Data Services (IDS) showed huge variations. Some are still in surplus and requiring no employer contribution, while in other cases firms had raised their contributions by 100%.

Helen Sudell, editor of the IDS Pensions Service, said: “With figures like this, there can be little doubt that many employers will have to reduce future benefits at some point for those staff still in these schemes.”

Employers raised their contributions in more than seven out of 10 schemes over the past year.

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