UK - The number of schemes putting contingent assets in place jumped by 30% to 587 in 2009/10, research from the Pension Protection Fund and The Pensions Regulator revealed.
Data published in the PPF's newest so-called Purple Book, showed contingent assets - which the pension scheme can claim in the event of a sponsor failure - in place for 2009/10 slashed schemes' Pension Protection Fund levies by a total of about £100m.
Schemes in the Purple 2009 dataset - excluding those schemes which were in a PPF assessment period as at March 31 2009 - had certified approximately £26.5bn (US$43.3bn) of deficit reduction contributions by April 7, last year.
The fourth Purple Book - jointly released by the PPF and TPR - also revealed the extent of the volatility in financial markets, with the average monthly funding position varying by about £375bn, from a high of £173.4bn in surplus to a low of £200.6bn in deficit.
PPF chief executive Alan Rubenstein said: "This year's Purple Book highlights how the dramatic deterioration in the economic and financial environment during 2008/09, not just for the UK but for most major economies, led to heightened risk for the schemes in the PPF universe.
"The Purple Book continues to provide important information on trends in defined benefit pension schemes illustrating the risk these schemes pose to the PPF, in terms of underfunding levels and the likelihood of claims on us."
The insolvency rate of the PPF's 6685 eligible members - calculated using failure scores from Dun & Bradstreet - increased by 50% over the year as falling asset prices continued to squeeze company balance sheets.
PPF compensation more than doubled over the period, increasing from £17.3m in 2008 to £37.6m in 2009.
However, this was more than covered by a £66m hike in levy payments over the year.
TPR chief executive Tony Hobman added: "The data reflects the situation faced by schemes up to March 2009.
"While there has since been an upturn in the financial markets, we remain alive to the risks and continue to work with schemes on their recovery plans. We work closely with the PPF to monitor the risks."
The Purple Book 2009 used information relating to 97% of the DB schemes eligible for PPF compensation (6885 schemes, representing some 12 million DB pensions) and 99% of their estimated total liabilities.
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