The aggregate deficit of defined benefit occupational pension funds in the U.K. in the Pension Protection Fund's 7800 index, more than halved in December, to £27.6 billion ($45.3 billion).
That represents the smallest deficit since June 2011, when there was a surplus, according to a news release on the PPF figures by Towers Watson.
The PPF 7800 index covers 6,150 funds. The estimated aggregate deficit of £27.6 billion at the end of December compares with £59.7 billion at the end of November. The PPF said in its latest update that 3,701 funds were in deficit, with the remaining 2,449 funds in surplus.
Aggregate deficits also are down compared with December 2012, when they were at £221.2 billion. The funding level improved over the year to a funding ratio of 95% from 82.8%.
Fund assets within the index totaled £1.133 trillion at the end of 2013, increasing 6.4% from 2012. Aggregate liabilities decreased 2.7% in December, to £1.160 trillion, and 9.8% for the year.