ECB President Mario Draghi has said there is evidence that creating money to buy bonds is working for the euro zone economy.
QE has driven down the value of the euro, and the interest rates that governments pay on their borrowings have fallen to record low levels. But that is having an adverse effect on pension funds.
Jerry Moriarty, CEO of the Irish Association of Pension Funds, says this is a particular problem for defined benefit schemes as the liabilities of DB schemes are linked to interest rates. "The cost of paying a pension rises as interest rates fall because the assets you use to match the liabilities are bonds and they are yielding little or no return now," he explains.
Mr Moriarty says many DB schemes had returned to better health in recent years as funding plans were put in place to shore up their losses. "Investment returns have generally been good but liabilities are rising at a faster rate. More money has been going in from employers and employees and in some cases benefits are being cut," he states.
He says the requirement to hold a certain proportion of bonds in DB schemes would reverse the gains made in recent years. "The regulator needs to look at regulations where people have to hold additional reserves if they are deemed to have risky assets. At the moment, risky assets are anything other than euro zone bonds, some corporate bonds and cash."
"You have the bizarre situation where a scheme could have 100% Greek government bonds and be deemed to have no risk or 100% Apple corporate bonds and be deemed to have high risk, and have to have an additional 10% in reserve. That doesn't make sense," he explains.
Jerry Moriarty said the problem for holders of DC pensions was mainly for those approaching retirement in the coming years. "The cost of an annuity is much higher as interest rates get lower. A retiree with a fund of €200,000 five years ago would have bought a pension of €15,000 a year. Today, they'd get €8,300. People need to look at what the impact has been on their funds and that will result in many deferring the purchase of an annuity," he warns. He says the options for those deferring purchase included working for extra years beyond normal retirement or transferring to an approved retirement fund (ARF) so they can continue to invest and draw down the money as it suits them.
MORNING BRIEFS - Japan is the latest global economy to have to deal with the spectre of deflation. Annual core consumer inflation stopped rising for the first time in nearly two years in February, stripping out the effect of last year's sales tax increase in April. The Japanese economy came out of a recession in the fourth quarter of last year, but its recovery remains fragile on sluggish household and business spending.
*** Meerkat - an app for streaming live video on social media - has raised $14m in funding helping it to challenge Twitter's Periscope in delivering real-time media. Meerkat was established less than a month ago but has attracted more than 100,000 users by letting them share live videos with their Twitter followers. The apps are tapping into renewed interest in viewing and sharing live videos via social networks.
*** Oil prices have surrendered some of the gains they made yesterday as worries of a disruption to crude supplies due to Saudi Arabia-led air strikes in Yemen eased. Brent prices fell by $1 to just over $58 having gained around 5% yesterday, the biggest daily gain in a month.