The total deficit of all U.K. corporate defined benefit funds increased 4.5% in November to £161 billion ($215 billion), said an update by JLT Employee Benefits.
However, the consultant said deficits fell by 37% over the 12 months ended Nov. 30.
The funding level improved to 91% as of Nov. 30, from 85% as of Nov. 30, 2016. Assets fell 1.3% for the month but increased 6.5% for the year to total £1.584 trillion; liabilities grew slightly over the month, by 0.3%, but stayed flat over the year ended Nov. 30 to £1.745 trillion.
FTSE 100 and FTSE 350 companies also saw their deficits grow during the month of November. For FTSE 100 companies, deficits totaled £40 billion as of Nov. 30, up 2.6% from October and down 45.9% for the 12-month period. The funding level of these pension plans decreased to 94% from 95% a month previous but increased 88% as of Nov. 30, 2016.
FTSE 350 company deficits totaled £51 billion, an increase of 4% for the month, but decreased 50.5% for the year. Funding levels improved to 94%, flat from Oct. 31 but up from 88% as of Nov. 30, 2016.
"Despite the first rise in interest rates for more than 10 years, November has been a quiet month for markets and pension schemes," said Charles Cowling, director at JLT, said in a news release. "The rate rise was widely anticipated and, with inflation showing no further signs of increasing and a fairly neutral budget, markets have remained calm. This is despite concerns over the poor economic outlook and Brexit. However, many challenges still remain. Pension schemes which are carrying out actuarial valuations in 2017 are likely to show much bigger deficits than at their last valuation in 2014. Finance directors will therefore be facing trustees asking for higher contributions."