The total deficit of U.K. corporate defined benefit funds increased 15.8% in November to £264 billion ($396.8 billion), analysis by JLT Employee Benefits shows.
A 1.5% increase in total assets in the month ended Nov. 30, to £1.244 trillion, was not enough to offset a 3.7% rise in liabilities, to £1.508 trillion.
All U.K. corporate DB funds had a funded status of 82% at Nov. 30, vs. 84% at Oct. 31.
Deficits also increased over the year, by 21.1%. Assets were up 0.7%, while liabilities grew 22.1% compared with Nov. 30, 2014. The funded status as of that date was 88%.
The 100 largest companies in the U.K. saw their total deficit increase 20.3% during the month to £83 billion, while the funding level fell to 87%, from 89% at Oct. 31.
Over the past 12 months, the deficit increased 12.1%, with the funding level falling from 88%.
FTSE 350 companies' pension funds saw their total deficit increase 20% in November to £96 billion, giving a funding level of 86%. The funding level as of Oct. 31 was 88%.
Similarly, the deficit increased during the year ended Nov. 30, by 12.9%, while the funding level dropped from 88% as of Nov. 30, 2014.
In a statement accompanying the data, Charles Cowling, director at JLT Employee Benefits, said: “Deficits have widened again this month as the Bank of England has once again pushed back expectations for a rise in interest rates. Continued mild deflation is certainly not putting any pressure on the bank to raise interest rates any time soon, nor do the economic gloom in Europe and continued sluggishness of emerging markets.”