U.K. defined benefit funds covered by the Pension Protection Fund's 7800 index improved in January to a £23.1 billion ($30.1 billion) deficit from a £31.9 billion deficit at the end of December.
The funding level increased to 98.6% as of Jan. 31, vs. 98% as of Dec. 31. As of Jan. 31, the funding level was 96.9%.
Assets increased over the month and the year by 2% and 1.7%, respectively, to £1.60 trillion. For the month, liabilities rose 1.4% to £1.63 trillion and were flat for the year.
The PPF said in an update that the FTSE All-Share index gained 4.2% for the month and dropped 3.8% for the year. Five- to 15-year index-linked gilt yields climbed 3 basis points in January and fell 36 basis points over the year.
As of Jan. 31, 58.5% of the 5,450 pension funds covered by the index were underfunded, improving from 60% as of Dec. 31. As of Jan. 31, 62.5% of the 5,588 pension funds covered by the index were in deficit.