UK Pension Liabilities Surge to £7.6 Trillion

State pension liabilities claim £4 trillion.

Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Wednesday shows UK pension liabilities increased £1 trillion between 2010 and 2015, with total liabilities standing at a whopping £7.6 trillion. 

In the near £8 trillion total, £5.3 trillion consisted of central and local government responsibilities, equal to 279% of GDP.

Of that figure, state pension unfunded liabilities—which is paid for by the government—claimed £4 trillion (213% of GDP).

Private sector pension liabilities accounted for more than £2 trillion (106% of GDP).

In the public sector, unfunded defined benefit (DB) entitlements were estimated at £917 billion (49% of GDP), with funded DB entitlements for mostly public employees contributing £334 billion (18% of GDP) to the total.

According to the report, an estimated £103 billion was attributed to annuities (5% of GDP).

Lastly, the ONS noted £302 billion (16% of GDP) in individual defined contribution pensions and another £148 billion (8% of GDP) in individual pension annuities.

Defined benefit plans have experienced larger deficit, but Bloomberg reports that higher interest rates should help alleviate the burden, with funds utilizing government yields as a discount rate for the calculation of future obligations.

According to the Pension Protection Fund, plans were roughly 94% funded at the end of December.

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