Combined defined benefit pension scheme deficits in the UK eased in September, but year on year the position worsened due to the continued low level of bond yields, JLT Employee Benefits has claimed.
In its monthly Pension Index, JLT estimated that FTSE 100 companies faced a total deficit of £66bn, while FTSE 350 companies faced a deficit of £76bn as it used the standard accounting measure, IAS19. Both had a funding level of 89%.
All UK private sector pension schemes had a combined deficit of £207bn and assets of £1,184bn.
In 2013, the combined deficit for FSTE 100 and 350 companies stood at £138bn.
JLT Employee Benefits director Charles Cowling said: 'There has been an easing in pension scheme deficits from last month due to a slight rise in bond yields, but year on year the position has still worsened due to the historic low level of bond yields we are currently seeing.
'There has been some hope that interest rate rises would be imminent and help relieve pension scheme deficits. But like the desert mirage, just as relief seems near at hand, the promise of higher interest rates leading to lower deficits and maybe even surpluses proves illusory.'
Cowling said the 'No 'vote in last month's Scottish referendum was good news for pension schemes with members both in Scotland and the rest of the UK.
However, he added that, the implications of devo-max or even more limited fiscal autonomy for Scotland could still be very serious for UK pension schemes and lead to significant additional administrative complications.
He said: 'This will not be welcomed by companies and pension schemes that already have to deal with the most complicated pension system in the world.'