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Pension Funds

U.K. corporate pension deficit rises 60% in March on liability increase

The total deficit of all U.K. defined benefit funds covered by the Pension Protection Fund's 7800 index increased 60.3% in March to 115.6 billion ($162.2 billion), but fell 28.6% over the year.

The funding level of these pension funds fell to 93.1% as of March 31, compared with 95.6% as of Feb. 28. As of March 31, 2017, the funding level was 90.5%.

Total assets fell 0.1% in March to 1.566 trillion, but grew 1.6% year-over-year. The FTSE All-Share index was down 2.7% over the month, said the PPF in an update accompanying the data.

Liabilities grew 2.5% over March to 1.681 trillion, but fell 1.3% for the year. Over the month, conventional 15-year gilt yields fell 19 basis points and index-linked five-to-15 year gilt yields rose 1 basis point. For the year, conventional 15-year gilt yields were up 7 basis points and index-linked five-to-15 year gilt yields increased 34 basis points, said the PPF.

The proportion of funds in the index that were in deficit grew to 67.9% as of March 31, compared with 65.6% as of Feb. 28. As of March 31, 2017, 71.3% of the 5,588 funds in the index were in deficit.