LONDON - British Telecommunications PLC's pension fund catapulted to the top of the rankings of the largest U.K. pension funds last year, leapfrogging the British Coal pension fund.
The BT fund jumped 27.9% to (pounds) 17.2 billion ($27.8 billion) from 13.4 billion in the year ended Dec. 31, 1993, landing on top of the annual rankings in "Pension Funds and Their Advisers 1995," a directory of the U.K. pension industry.
BT's fund was buoyed by 2.9 billion from investment returns and net cash inflows of 846 million, according to its annual report.
U.K. pension funds were swollen by buoyant capital markets in 1993, growing 29.1% on average, according to The WM Co., Edinburgh.
Figures for pension funds came from annual reports, most of whose fiscal years ended March 31, 1994. During that period, the typical U.K. pension fund increased 17.2%, according to WM data.
In the following 12-month period, the average U.K. pension fund increased only 0.4%.
There were limited changes in the rankings of the Top 25 U.K. funds. The two very mature British Coal plans, now overseen by CMT Pension Trustee Services Ltd., grew only 16.8%, to 15.8 billion. ($25.5 billion)
The decline of Imperial Chemicals Industries PLC's pension fund to 14th place from 10th - caused by the spinning off of Zeneca Group PLC's 1.34 billion fund - caused a minor shakeup in the listing.
As a result, the Shell Contributory Pension Fund, which grew 23.9%, edged up to 10th, at 6.55 billion, from 11th; National Westminster Bank's funds rose to 11th from 13th, fueled by a 37% increase; and the British Airways fund climbed to 13th from 14th, growing 17.6%.
The British Steel Pension Scheme, which increased only 9.9%, remained 12th in the listings. And, Midland Bank PLC's fund and the Greater Manchester County Superannuation Fund swapped places, with Midland taking 18th while Greater Manchester slipped to 19th.
The British Aerospace Pension Scheme jumped up a few notches, landing in the 23rd slot, up from 26th the year before.
The directory is sold in the United States by Money Market Directories Inc. in Charlottesville, Va., and in the United Kingdom by AP Information Services in London.