Falls in gilt and equity markets pushed the aggregate corporate U.K. defined benefit fund deficit to £322.8 billion ($459.1 billion) in February, a 5.9% increase over the month, showed the Pension Protection Fund's 7800 index.
The index, which covers PPF-eligible U.K. pension funds, showed that deficits increased 29.8% over the year ended Feb. 29.
Total liabilities were £1.596 trillion as of Feb. 29, up 2% over the month. Conventional and index-linked 15-year gilt yields fell 14 basis points and two basis points, respectively, in February. Over the year, 15-year gilt yields fell 26 basis points, as liabilities increased 5.5%.
Total assets increased, but not enough to outpace increased liabilities. For the month, assets increased 1.1% to £1.273 trillion, with the FTSE All-Share index rising 0.3% over the same period. For the 12-month period, total assets increased 0.7% and the FTSE All-Share index was down 10.6%.
The funded status of these pension funds fell to 79.8% as of Feb. 29, compared with 80.5% as of Jan. 31 and 83.6% as of Feb. 28, 2015.
The PPF index covers 5,945 pension funds, of which 83.3% had deficits. On Jan. 31, 82.8% had deficits. As of Feb. 28, 2015, the index covered 6,057 pension funds, and 80.1% of those funds had deficits.