According to new research, the pool of biggest stock market listed companies in the UK increased their pension contributions by 30% in 2005 compared to the previous year.

The study, carried out by consultancy Watson Wyatt, has found that contributions to employee pensions increased by an average of a third last year at the FTSE100 listed businesses.

The research also found that three out of four FTSE100 companies claimed at the end of 2005 to have paid more into their pension fund than in the previous year, IFA Online has reported.

However, the increased contributions appear to be fire fighting measures as pension gaps remained in-line with 2004 levels.

Meanwhile, Watson Wyatt’s review of the UK pension industry has found that many pension funds are gradually switching money away from equities towards bonds, IFA Online says. The research found a 3% increase over the previous year in the proportion of money pension schemes invested in bonds.