The total surplus of U.K. corporate pension funds covered by the PPF 7800 index grew by 2.1% in July to £446.1 billion ($573 billion) and 70.3% for the year.
The funding ratio of these 5,131 plans increased to 146.4%, from 145.8% as of June 30 and from 119.6% as of July 31, 2022, an update by the Pension Protection Fund, London, said.
Assets grew 1.2% in July, but fell by 11.8% over the year, to £1.41 trillion. Liabilities increased by 0.8% for the month and fell by 27.9% over the year, to £961.4 billion.
There were 458 plans in deficit, equating to 8.9% of those covered by the PPF 7800 index, compared with 9.3% of plans as of June 30, and 27.1% of plans as of July 31, 2022.
"Despite a softening of inflation during July, market interest rates were broadly unchanged, which has resulted in little movement in estimated scheme liabilities this month," Shalin Bhagwan, chief actuary, said in the update. "Meanwhile, optimism that developed economies would avoid recession grew and growth-sensitive assets like equities saw strong returns, leading to an improvement in estimated scheme assets."
These factors have driven improved funding levels over the past few months, which has been maintained in July, Mr. Bhagwan said.