The total deficit of U.K. defined benefit funds covered by the Pension Protection Fund's 7800 index decreased to £149 billion ($183 billion) at the end of September, from a deficit of £162.9 billion at the end of August, an update Tuesday from the PPF said.
The position worsened from a year ago, when the pension funds in the London-based PPF index recorded a deficit of £3.4 billion as of Sept. 30, 2018.
The funding level of pension plans also improved over the month to 92.2% as of Sept. 30, from 91.5% as of Aug. 31. As of Sept. 30, 2018, the funding level was 99.8%, the update said.
Assets rose over the month and the year by 0.8% and 9.8%, respectively, to £1.769 trillion. For the month, liabilities were flat and increased 18% for the year to £1.918 trillion.
The PPF said in its update that the FTSE All-Share index increased 3% for the month and improved 2.7% for the year. Five- to 15-year index-linked gilt yields climbed 4 basis points in September but fell 118 basis points over the year.
As of Sept. 30, 65% of the 5,450 pension funds covered by the index had a deficit, compared with 67% as of Aug. 31. A year ago, 56% of the 5,450 pension funds covered by the index had a deficit.