Closing a DB scheme to new members immediately sets a deadline to achieve a low risk position before benefit out-go can become a strain on the funding level.  This is because as schemes become more cashflow negative, a short-term funding shock can soon escalate into a longer-term problem.  After a funding shock the scheme will still be paying pensions out at 100 pence in the pound, while now holding much lower reserves.  This can create a vicious downward spiral of falling funding levels.

As a result, and although most DB schemes must continue to focus on eliminating funding deficits, trustees and corporate sponsors are also increasingly looking to prepare for the low risk phase.