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Pension Funds

U.K. corporate pension fund deficit soars 41% in February

The total deficit of all pension funds covered by the Pension Protection Fund's 7800 index increased 41.4% in February to 72.1 billion ($100.5 billion).

However, for the year ended Feb. 28, deficits fell 70.2%.

The funding level of these plans decreased to 95.6% from 96.9% as of Jan. 31, but improved from 86.2% as of Feb. 28. 2017.

Assets fell 0.5% in February to 1.568 trillion, but grew 3.7% for the year. The PPF said in an update that the month-over-month fall reflected the impact of lower equity prices.

Liabilities grew 0.8% in February to 1.64 trillion. Conventional 15-year gilt yields grew by 1 basis point over the month, while index-linked five-to-15-year gilt yields fell 10 basis points in February.

Year-over-year liabilities fell 6.5%, with 15-year gilt yields increasing 25 basis points and index-linked five-to-15-year gilt yields rising 43 basis points.

The proportion of pension funds covered by the index that were in deficit as of Feb. 28 was 64.6%, compared with 62.5% as of Jan. 31. As of both these dates the index covered 5,588 funds. As of Feb. 28, 2017, 75.6% of the 5,794 funds in the index were in deficit.