Private sector defined benefit pension scheme value their liabilities (how much they owe current and future pensioners) by using the yield of 15 year government gilts (bonds/loans). These yields are at a historic 200 year low due to the Euro crisis "flight to quality" and the governments quantitative easing policy.
"Mark to market" accounting is now completely ridiculous Some pension commentator's are scaremongering since they can make more money out of closing pension schemes rather than keeping them open and because of this some employers are panicking.
I hope indeed that Steve will "not stand idly by" and do something. I am not sure however that his coalition partner's have enough about them to stand up to huge vested interests who appear to be quite happy for decent pension schemes to continue to go to the wall.
Hat tip thingy TGLD