The deficit of all U.K. corporate pension funds increased 7.7% over the month ended April 30 to £294 billion ($429.9 billion) and by 12.2% over the year to that date, shows the latest data from JLT Employee Benefits.
Total assets remained flat at £1.25 trillion over the month, but decreased 2.1% over the year. Liabilities, however, increased 1.3% over the month and 0.3% over the year to £1.543 trillion.
The funded status dropped to 81% from 82% as of March 31 and 83% as of April 30, 2015.
FTSE 100 company pension funds saw their total deficits increase 8% to £94 billion, with the funded level dropping to 85% from 86% a month earlier. Over the year, deficits increased 11.9%, and the funded level dropped from 87%.
“With interest rates staying stubbornly low, total pension scheme deficits are now almost breaking through the £300 billion barrier,” said Charles Cowling, director at JLT Employee Benefits, in a statement accompanying the data. “More worryingly for companies and pension schemes with 2016 actuarial valuations, which are typically carried out around now, the pension scheme trustees are likely to calculate even higher pension deficits for the purposes of calculating future pension contributions.”