The total deficit of U.K. corporate pension funds was relatively flat over the month ended Sept. 30, shows data from JLT Employee Benefits and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The deficit of all corporate plans increased 0.2% to £503 billion ($654 billion) for the month, according to JLT. However, the deficit has risen 103.6% over the 12 months ended Sept. 30.
Assets increased 0.07% in September to £1.451 trillion, while liabilities increased 0.1% to £1.954 trillion for the month. The funded level of these pension funds remained at 74%.
However, it was a different story over the year, with a 20.6% increase in assets more than offset by a 34.8% increase in liabilities. The funded level at Sept. 30, 2015, was 83%.
Deficits increased 1.6% over the month for the 100 largest companies in the U.K., to £185 billion, and grew 153.4% over the 12-month period. The funded level was flat over the month at 77%, but was down from 88% at Sept. 30, 2015.
FTSE 350 companies also recorded a slight increase in deficits over the month, up 1.4% to £210 billion. Over the year, deficits increased 147.1%. The funded level for these companies was 77% as of both Sept. 30 and Aug. 31; but fell from 88% as of Sept. 30, 2015.
Separate figures released by PwC's Skyval index showed the deficit of the around 6,000 defined benefit funds in the U.K. improved slightly over the month of September, to total £690 billion. That compares with a record high of £710 billion in August.
“September's market movements go to show that, layered on top of the long-term challenges which pension funds face, some will also have to deal with the impact of short-term volatility,” said Raj Mody, partner and global head of pensions at PwC, in a statement accompanying the data. “This can particularly affect funds with larger short-term benefit payments to meet, depending on whether their asset portfolio is properly set up to meet those demands without having to make emergency changes to release cash.”