UK - Pension liabilities for UK private sector final salary pension schemes reached £1.2trn ($1.8trn) in August.
Figures released by the Aon200 Index show a 20% jump in liabilities in the past 12 months.
Aon analysts say the main cause of the increase is the fall in yield on government securities, which in turn has been caused by a slowing global economy.
"The value placed on pension scheme liabilities has now hit an unprecedented £1.2trn," said Aon Consulting head of corporate solutions Marcus Hurd (pictured).
"Traditional scheme investment strategies are struggling to keep pace in rapidly moving markets. Only a year ago we balked at the landmark £1tn figure, but the woes just continue to mount.
"Pension scheme liabilities at this level pose a significant financial risk to UK businesses at a time when there are real fears that market conditions could deteriorate further.
"Rapidly moving markets emphasise the need for adaptable investment strategies and the need to reduce risk where possible when the opportunity arises."
US corporate schemes are in no better shape.
Mercer reported yesterday pension funds in the S&P1500 shoulder record deficits of a combined $506bn. The funds are in the red in part because of low bond rates used to discount liabilities. (Global Pensions; September 2, 2010)
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