U.K. defined benefit funds covered by the Pension Protection Fund's 7800 index rose in February to a £8.6 billion ($11 billion) deficit from a £23.1 billion deficit at the end of January.
The London-based lifeboat for pension funds of insolvent U.K. companies said in an update Tuesday that the funded level increased to 99.5% as of Feb. 28 vs. 98.6% as of Jan. 31. On Feb. 28, 2018, the funded level was 95.6%.
Assets were flat over the month but grew 2.3% during the year to £1.603 trillion. For the month, liabilities fell 0.9% over the month and 1.7% during the year to £1.61 trillion.
In its update PPF said that the FTSE All-Share index gained 2.3% for the month and 1.7% for the year. Five- to 15-year index-linked gilt yields fell 3 basis points in February and fell 29 basis points over the year.
As of Feb. 28, 57.2% of the 5,450 pension funds covered by the index were underfunded, improving from 58.5% on Jan. 31. As of Feb. 28, 64.5% of the 5,588 pension funds covered by the index were in deficit.