11 April 2012
The Pension Protection Fund produces a monthly index update (the April 2012 release has data taken as at 30 March 2012) of the estimated funding position of the defined benefit schemes which would be potentially eligible for entry into the Fund.
Total scheme deficits showed an decrease from £222.2bn as at end February to £206.2bn as at end March with a corresponding improvement in s179 funding ratio to 83.4% thus continuing the welcome trend of improvement over the past three months.
The backdrop to this change over the month was an improvement in gilt yields (helping liabilities) which more than compensated for a softening in equity markets.
It is worth noting that s179 deficits are calculated with reference to eligible benefits on entry to the PPF (approximately: 100% of pensions already in payment and 90% of accrual for members below pensionable age, subject to a compensation cap), and so would likely be lower than a deficit calculated on a full buyout basis.
A full report is provided by the PPF at this external page