The aggregate deficit of the 5,450 UK-based defined benefit pension plans tracked by the Pension Protection Fund’s PPF 7800 Index fell to an estimated £71.1 billion ($93.4 billion) at the end of November, from £103.6 billion at the end of October. The narrowing of the deficit sent the funding ratio rising to 96.1% from 94.4% during the month.
Despite the monthly improvement, the position of the funds was down from the same time last year when the index reported a surplus of £14.3 billion and a funded ratio of 100.9%.
The aggregate asset value of the funds totaled £1.744 trillion at the end of November, which was 0.3% higher than a month earlier, and 10.4% higher than at the end of November 2018. Total liabilities were £1.815 trillion, a decrease of 1.5% over the month and an increase of 15.9% over the year.
The number of plans in surplus at the end of the November rose to 2,122, or 38.9% of all plans in the index, from 1,991, or 36.5% of the plans, at the end of October. This was down from the 2,442 plans that were in surplus at the end of November 2018, which accounted for 44.8% of the plans.
Plans in deficit dropped to 3,328, or 61.1% of the plans, from 3,459, or 63.5% of the plans, at the end of October. But they rose from 3,008 plans in deficit at the end of November 2018 (55.2%).
The total surplus of plans in surplus grew to £137.8 billion from £126.9 billion at the end of October but fell from £151.9 billion at the end of November 2018. The aggregate deficit of all the plans in the index that were in deficit decreased to £208.9 billion from £230.5 billion at the end of October, but up from £137.6 billion a year earlier.