UK - Surplus levels of pension funds have dropped by £48bn, according to the latest figures released from the Pension Protection Fund's (PPF) 7800 Index.
The index covers 7,800 predominantly private sector defined benefit (DB) pension schemes in the UK.
The index showed that the aggregate funding position (total assets minus total liabilities) of the funds fell to a surplus of £51bn in July 2007 compared to a surplus of £99bn in June 2007.
However, the PPF believes this is a much improved position in contrast to July 2006, when schemes had a funding deficit of £31bn.
It added that those schemes in deficit in July 2007 is estimated to have worsened slightly, to just over £45bn from £30bn at the end of June 2007.
Overall, the number of schemes in deficit in July 2007 stood at 5,394, down from 6,238 schemes in July 2006, and representing 70% of total DB schemes in the sample.
According to the PPF, the improvement in the aggregate funding position over the last year reflects both rising bond yields and equity markets.
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