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Pension Funds

PPF’s 7800 index sees big deficit increase in March

U.K. defined benefit funds covered by the Pension Protection Fund’s 7800 index saw their aggregate deficit rise in March to 43.9 billion from 8.6 billion.

U.K. defined benefit funds covered by the Pension Protection Fund's 7800 index saw their aggregate deficit rise in March to 43.9 billion ($57.2 billion) from 8.6 billion at the end of February.

The London-based lifeboat for pension funds of insolvent U.K. companies said in an update Tuesday that the funding level decreased to 97.4% as of March 31 vs. 99.5% as of Feb. 28. On March 31, 2018, the funding level was 95.7%.

Assets increased over the month by 2.8% and 4.8% during the year, to 1.649 trillion. For the month, liabilities increased 5% and for the year, 2.9%, to 1.693 trillion.

PPF said in its update that the FTSE All-Share index gained 2.7% for the month and 6.4% for the year. Five- to 15-year index-linked gilt yields fell 21 basis points in March and fell 51 basis points over the year.

As of March 31, 59.9% of the 5,450 pension funds covered by the index were underfunded, up from 57.2% on Feb. 28. As of March 31, 2018, 63% of the 5,450 pension funds covered by the index were in deficit.