Aggregate DB pension deficits soar to £230bn

The combined defined benefit deficit of schemes in PwC’s Skyval Index soared to £230bn at the end of October.

It is an increase of £80bn on September’s figures when the deficit stood at £150bn. Total assets for October were £1,590bn, a reduction of £30bn on September’s £1,620bn figure. Liabilities were £1,820bn, an increase of £50bn, as liabilities were £1,770bn in September.

Commenting, PwC chief actuary Steven Dicker said: “The deficit in the UK pension schemes has shot up by more than 50 per cent to £230bn over October, mainly due to falling asset values and a decrease in gilt yields that increased the liabilities.

“As well as reflecting continued uncertainty in markets, this rapid reversal of recent improvements also highlights the volatility inherent in this approach to measuring scheme funding.”

The index based on the Skyval platform used by pension funds and provides an aggregate health check of the UK’s c.5,600 corporate DB pension funds. The current Skyval Index figures, based on the 'gilts plus' method widely used by scheme actuaries.

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