UK - Pension scheme deficits at FTSE350 companies barely budged in 2004, falling from £73bn in 2003 to £71bn, according to Mercer Human Resource Consulting.
While pension assets rose by around £33bn last year on the back of strong equity market performance, scheme liabitlies increased by a similar amount, said Tim Keogh, worldwide partner at Mercer.
The findings highlight that deficits will not magically disappear, even in relatively calm market conditions,” Keogh (pictured) said. “Many employers are now bracing themselves to contribute more money in order to make a dent in scheme deficits.
Mercer calculated the liabilities using UK accounting standard FRS17, which is broadly consistent with the newly adopted IAS19. FTSE350 companies account for slightly more tahn half of UK occupational pension scheme assets, Mercer said. The total deficit for all UK pension schemes is predicted to be £128bn.
Elsewhere, Credit Suisse Asset Management reported that the 2004 ouperformance of the Credit Suisse UK Broad Fixed Interest Fund can be attributed to its overweight holding in corporate bonds at the lower end of the investment grade spectrum.
The Credit Suisse UK Broad Fixed Interest Fund returned 8% over 2004, outperforming the benchmark Merrill Lynch Sterling Broad Market Index by 1.2%.
University College Union (UCU) and Universities UK have appointed Joanne Segars to chair the joint expert panel to examine the valuation of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) was right to use its powers to seek financial support from ITV for members of the Box Clever pension scheme, the Upper Tribunal has said.
All 6,000 UK schemes had a surplus of £361bn by the end of last month when calculated under a best estimate return on their assets, according to First Actuarial.
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