Pension fund deficit on the increase

23 January 2008 / by None
The pension fund deficit increased to £15 billion on Monday, making it the largest single-day increase since the FRS17 began measuring pension funding in 2001.

As equity markets have slumped amid fears of a recession in the US, pension schemes have been hit particularly hard, report Reuters.

Research by sector consultant Aon has shown that the stock market turbulence has caused pension funds to lose more than £40 billion this year, the report continues.

The slump in the equity market has "wiped out" any gains made by the 200 largest occupational pension schemes in 2007, say Aon.

Tim Keogh, a partner at pension consultant Mercer, commented: "Times like this separate the sheep and the goats among companies with pension funds."

Aon noted that pension schemes are in trouble because corporate bond yields have not increased to balance falling share prices.

In related news, BT saw stocks in its pension fund continue to fall yesterday, despite some blue chip companies managing to curb their losses, the Times reports.

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