UK defined benefit pension scheme liabilities were unchanged in March, according to figures published today by Xafinity Consulting.
Equity markets and bond yields showed little change since the end of February, the consultants said, which meant liabilities remained at £1,568bn. This compares to £1,383bn a year earlier.
However, deficits increased by £24bn from £483bn in February to £507bn as the value of scheme assets decreased slightly from £1,085bn to £1,061bn.
And Xafinity said that, despite recent market calm, long term uncertainty remained with regards to future inflation expectations.
Robert Hunt, director at Xafinity Corporate Solutions, said: 'There is a lot of uncertainty around what impact the unwinding of Quantitative Easing will have or indeed when it will begin, but it has clearly distorted the market for both conventional and index-linked gilts, making it difficult to predict how inflation expectations will evolve in the next few months and years.
'In the meantime, companies will continue to contend with much larger pension scheme deficits than they faced a year ago. Given the recent market calm many will hope that the equity rally since the start of the year can gain further momentum, helping to reduce deficits.'
Xafinity's analysis is based on all UK DB pension schemes and uses FRS17 and IAS19 accounting rules.