Britain's pension gulf dramatically falls in July... but is still bigger than three years ago

Oliver Gill
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UK Faces Pension Crisis
A number of public and private organisations are grappling with widening pension scheme deficits (Source: Getty)

Britain's pension shortfalls fell by more than £1bn a day during July, according to research released today.

A health check of around 5,800 of the UK's pension schemes revealed aggregate deficits stood at £420bn – a fall of £40bn since the start of the month.

PwC, which compiled the data, said July was the third consecutive month of falling shortfalls. But the firm's chief actuary Steven Dicker added:

However, the monetary value of the gap between assets and liabilities, at £420bn, remains higher than what it was three years ago.

Read more: Pensions lifeboat head to step down

The reduction comes after it was revealed last week that deficits at the university sector's main pension fund had rocketed over the last year. The Universities Superannuation Scheme saw shortfalls rise by £9bn to £17.5bn, the largest on record by any British pension scheme.

Defined benefit or final salary shortfalls continue to be a millstone around the neck of many UK corporates; for example, telecoms giant BT is in the process of negotiating with trustees over a £9bn gap between assets and liabilities.

Meanwhile, the UK's pensions watchdog has promised more active scrutiny of companies operating large deficits. And the government is consulting on hiking its powers, which would give it a more proactive remit to intervene.

Read more: This London borough just became the first to be fined by pensions watchdog

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