Defined benefit pension deficit increases to £240 billion as of May 2019


The deficit for defined benefit (DB) pension schemes in the UK has increased to £240 billion as of the end of May 2019, according to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

Its Skyval index, which is based on aggregated data from 5,450 corporate DB pension funds, and is collected through the Skyval pensions platform used by trustees, sponsors and advisers, also found that the deficit for UK DB pension schemes has increased by £60 billion between April 2019 and May 2019.

At the end of May 2019, pension assets were £1,660 billion, while the liability target was £1,900 billion.

These increases follow an £80 billion drop in the deficit that was recorded in April 2019.

Steven Dicker, chief actuary at PWC, said: “The increase in the deficit has largely been driven by a fall in the yields on government bonds while assets have stayed flat.

“This further illustrates how continuing economic uncertainty, particularly surrounding the future direction of long-term interest rates, leads to unhelpful volatility in pension funding levels on this measure.”