By Pádraig Floyd 
Source: Pensions Expert

The March 2023 PPF 7800 index estimates the aggregate surplus of the 5,131 schemes it covers to have decreased over the month to £359.3bn as of March 31, from a surplus of £381.4bn at the end of February, a fall of almost 6 per cent.

The funding ratio decreased to 133.2 per cent from 137 per cent over the same period. Total assets were £1.44tn and total liabilities were £1.08tn.

There were 4,355 (82 per cent) schemes in surplus. However, the total of the 776 schemes (18 per cent) of schemes in deficit at the end of March 2023 was £5.7bn, an increase of more than a third (35.7 per cent) from £4.2bn at the end of February.

Lisa McCrory, chief finance officer and chief actuary at the Pension Protection Fund, said: “The collapse of SVB Bank and the forced merger of CSFB and UBS created a flight to quality demand for government bonds and increased markets’ expectations regarding the likelihood of a recession later this year or in 2024. That pushed government bond yields lower during March, increasing the discounted value of scheme liabilities.

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