UK - The balance of schemes monitored by the Pension Protection Fund improved to a surplus of £46.1bn ($74.3bn) at the end of January, figures from the lifeboat fund reveal.
The 6,560 schemes in the PPF 7800 index had previously reported a surplus of £21.7bn at the end of December last year.
The PPF said the funding ratio improved from 102.3% to 105%. Total assets were £973.3bn and total liabilities were £972.2bn. It added there were 3,696 schemes in deficit and 2,864 schemes in surplus.
The report said equity markets and gilt yields are the main drivers of scheme funding levels.
It explained: "Scheme liabilities are sensitive to the yields available on a range of conventional and index linked gilts. Liabilities are also time sensitive in that, even if gilt yields were unchanged, scheme liabilities would increase as the point of payment approaches.
"The value of scheme assets is affected by the change in prices of all the major asset classes, not just equity markets. Due to their weight in asset allocation and volatility, equities are usually the biggest driver behind changes in scheme assets."
It said the FTSE All-Share Index fell by 0.6% over January and 15-year gilt yields were up 26 basis points.
During the month of January there was a 1.0% decrease in assets mainly due to declining UK and global equities. However, liabilities also fell, by 3.6%, due primarily to the rise in gilt yields.
Over the year to January, the FTSE All-Share Index rose by 14.4% and 15-year gilt yields were down by 10 basis points.
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