Pensions are becoming a problem for private equity firms, at least in the U.K. A Grant Thornton survey finds that p.e. firms are wary of dealing with companies that have defined benefit deficits; indeed, according to the survey, only 37% of firms participating had completed such a deal in the last year, whereas, in the previous year, every firm surveyed had completed at least one deal with a pension-burdened company. Whats more, Grant Thorntons Mat Bhagrath told Accountancy Age that firms are looking to divest, where possible, of those companies in their portfolio with a pension liability. Most of the firms owning such companies said they would alter the structure of the offending pension, try to make a one-off contribution, seek insurance or simply sell the company. A new risk-based levy on companies with substantial pension liabilities, which went into effect this month, is also a factor, the survey said. A p.e. firms time frame three to five years is generally seen as not long enough to deal with often intractable pension problems.