The total deficit of U.K. corporate pension funds tracked by the Pension Protection Fund’s 7800 index fell 8.6% over the month ended Sept. 30 to £419.7 billion ($546 billion), as a drop in liabilities more than offset a fall in total assets.
Over the year, however, the total deficit grew 61.4%.
The funded status of these pension funds improved to 77.5% as of Sept. 30, vs. 76.1% as of Aug. 31. However, at Sept. 30, 2015, the plans were 82.8% funded.
For the month of September, assets fell 0.7% to total £1.45 trillion, but grew 15.6% vs. figures as of Sept. 30, 2015. Over the month, the FTSE All-Share index gained 1.6%, and was up 12.6% for the year.
Liabilities also fell, by 2.6% for the month to £1.87 trillion. For the same period, conventional 15-year gilt yields rose 18 basis points, and index-linked 15-year gilt yields increased 4 basis points. Over the year, liabilities increased 23.5%, while 15-year gilt yields fell 95 basis points. The PPF uses the annualized yield on the FTSE U.K. gilts 15-year fixed-interest index, and the index-linked equivalent, for its analysis.
Of the 5,945 pension funds in the index, 84% were in deficit, down from 84.8% as of Aug. 31, but up from 80.4% as of Sept. 30, 2015.