Defined benefit pension funds are £0.3bn in surplus for the first time since June 2008, Pension Protection Fund figures reveal.
The lifeboat fund said the aggregate funding position - total assets minus total liabilities - of almost 7400 DB funds improved to the small surplus at the end of March from a deficit of £15.1bn four weeks earlier.
A year ago the deficit stood at £242bn.
The total deficit of schemes in deficit in March 2010 was estimated to have improved to £73.3bn from £79.5bn at the end of February. In March 2009, the aggregate deficit of all schemes in deficit stood at £253.1bn.
In March 2010, the total surpluses of schemes in surplus increased to £73.6bn from £64.4bn at the end of February 2010. In March 2009, the total surplus of all schemes in surplus stood at £11.1bn.
The PPF said March had seen a 3.5% increase in assets due to rising UK and global equities.
It adds: "Meanwhile, the change in gilt yields led to a 1.8% increase in liabilities. The FTSE All Share Index rose by 6.3% over March 2010.
"Over the year to March 2010, the FTSE All Share Index rose by 46.7% and
15-year gilt yields were up by 66 basis points. Over the past year, rising equity markets have led to an increase in scheme assets of 21.7%. Over the same period, changes in bond yields have resulted in a 1.9% fall in liabilities."
The PPF also said the change in actuarial assumptions in October reduced estimated liabilities by 8 % or £70bn.
"The combined effect of the increase in assets and reduction in estimated liabilities is an improvement in the aggregate funding position," the report adds.
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