The aggregate deficit of the pension funds for U.K. FTSE 350 companies increased marginally in April, by 0.8% to £128 billion ($193.8 billion).
The latest data from consultant Mercer showed the funding levels remained at 83% as of April 30. While total liabilities decreased 0.4% to £753 billion, due to an increase in corporate bond yields, that was offset by a 0.6% decrease in total assets to £625 billion over the same period.
The steady deficit “masks what were — again — relatively significant changes in corporate bond yields and market implied inflation over a one-month period,” said Ali Tayyebi, senior partner in Mercer’s retirement business, in a news release. “This month they happen to have had broadly opposite effects on the calculation of the liabilities. This volatility continues the trend in recent months, which has seen a 50-basis-point difference between the respective high points and low points of both corporate bond yields and market implied inflation so far this year alone.”
Mercer added in its news release that deficits have increased by almost 20% since the start of 2015.
The consultant’s data relate to about 50% of all U.K. pension fund liabilities.