UK Pension Participants Rely Heavily on Default Investments

April 23, 2009 ( - The 2009 PensionDCisions Sponsor Default Investment Strategy Survey finds that on average 81% of UK defined contribution plan members invest in their plans' default options.

For plans that participated in both 2008 and 2009 Surveys this has increased by almost 2%, according to a PensionDCisions press release. Almost 60% of plans surveyed indicated they believe that member reliance on default funds represents a moderate or significant risk to employers or trustees. The remainder of respondents believe defaults do not represent a risk.

The survey found 25% of plans use multi-asset default strategies (all are overlaid with a lifestyle mechanism), but approximately 70% of the surveyed plans use a 100% allocation to equity funds as the default.

Across the sample as a whole, the average allocation to equity has decreased on average by 4%, the press release said. Regional allocations within equity strategies vary significantly, with allocations to UK equities varying between 34% and 100%.

The survey additionally found that three plans intend to increase their contribution rates in the next six months, and no plans indicated they intend to decrease contributions rates.

The 2009 Survey included responses from 45 large UK DC plans. Survey results can be found at .