The financial performance of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes improved in November on the back of rising equity markets, according to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).
In its monthly survey, the PPF says the total deficit of nearly 7,400 final salary pension funds fell from £97.6bn at the end of October to £92.5bn by the end of November.
Of those schemes not in deficit, total surpluses increased to £40.4bn from £37.5bn at the end of October. The number of schemes in surplus also increased during the month to 1,558, or 21%.
Furthermore, the number of DB schemes in surplus is higher than last year, with 1,276 in surplus in November 2008.
The positive figures come on the back of an improving economic picture which has seen equity markets make up ground. During November, there was a 1.9% increase in scheme assets due to rising UK and global equities. The month saw the FTSE All Share Index rise by 2.5% and by 24% in the year.
"Over the past year, the rising equity markets have offset falling bond yields leading to an overall improvement of the funding position," says the PPF. "Changes in the actuarial assumptions at end-October 2009 have also caused an improvement in the funding position over the previous 12 months."
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