Marshalls DB scheme surplus recovers after corporate bond rates climb

Marshalls’ defined benefit (DB) pension scheme surplus narrowed from £10.4m in June 2020 to £9.5m over the year ended 30 June 2021 after a strong recovery in H1, according to the company’s half year results.

The Marshalls plc Pension Scheme liabilities came in at £370.1m at the end of the six-month period, down from £388.4m at the same point the year before, while assets stood at £379.6m, down from £398.8m.

However, the surplus had narrowed to as little as £2.7m at the end of December 2020, the end of the company’s financial year, with liabilities having climbed to £399.9m and failing to keep pace as they edged up to £402.7m.

The company, which is a specialist in landscape products said that the primary driver behind the pension scheme’s reduction in surplus over the first six months of the new financial year was the AA corporate bond rate increasing from 1.4 per cent to 1.9 per cent.

Marshalls listed changes in this rate as one of the risks the company was subject to in relation to its pension scheme, along with downturns in the performance of equities and increases in the longevity of members.

The Marshalls plc Pension Scheme’s next actuarial valuation is being carried out with an effective date of 5 April 2021.

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