Only 19% of U.K. final-salary defined benefit plans with more than £1 billion ($1.5 billion) in assets remain open, said a report from consultant Barnett Waddingham.
Based on publicly available data as of Oct. 31, 2014, 57% of final-salary DB plans in the U.K. were closed to new employees, while 24% were frozen.
The previous year, 20% of those plans were open, with 51% closed and 29% frozen.
Many large plans have moved to career average revalued earnings plans rather than defined contribution plans, but of those CARE plans, only 21% were open as of Oct. 31, 2014, down from 28% the previous year.
The report said that since plans with CARE sections are generally younger, “it is perhaps surprising that such a large portion of these are already closed to new members (79% compared to 72% last year).”
Of 101 DB plans for which liability values were available, the average funding ratio was 94%, unchanged since the previous report. Of that total, 25 plans had funding ratios better than 100%, making them attractive from the perspective of potentially offering a buyout or buy-in.
The report covers 170 U.K. DB plans’ publicly available data as of Oct. 31, 2014, although not all plans were represented in all data.
The report is available on the consultant’s website.