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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Gilt yield falls push deficits up by £65bn in November

The ratio of funding for all schemes in the Pension Protection Fund's index - which tracks all DB schemes eligible for PPF assistance - fell from 86.3% funded to 81.9% during November.

It means DB deficits soared from £158.6bn at the end of October to £222.1bn at the end of November - a £63.5bn increase.

A majority of schemes - 5,390 - remain in deficit, with 1,143 schemes in surplus.

The dire funding ratio environment is almost as bad as the PPF 7800'S funding ratio low point at the turn of 2009, when it dipped below the 80% funded level.

PPF analysts said: "Liabilities increased over the month by 6.1% reflecting the impact of lower gilt yields, with 15 year gilt yields falling by 20 basis points.

"Assets rose by 0.7% over the month because rising bond prices more than offset the impact of falling equity markets - the FTSE All-Share Index fell by 0.9 per cent during November 2011."

A year on year analysis of the PPF 7800 shows the dramatic deterioration of UK DB deficits.

In November 2010, DB schemes had an aggregate deficit of £1bn. This November, the figure had jumped to £222.1bn.

In November 2010, PPF 7800 aggregate funding levels were 99.9%.

The PPF monitors all schemes paying a levy to the lifeboat fund to gauge the risks it is exposed.

Source: Professional Pensions