The UK's defined benefit (DB) pension schemes were 129% funded on a 'best estimate' basis on 31 December 2017, according to First Actuarial.
In its latest monthly update, the actuarial firm said the schemes had an aggregate surplus of £357bn as of 31 December 2017, with assets totalling £1.6trn and liabilities amounting to £1.2trn.
This is based on the firm's ‘best estimate' assumptions, which included a breakeven investment return of -0.9% per annum, or a nominal return of 2.7% per annum (pa) for schemes to meet their liabilities.
This is also based on expected future Retail Prices Index levels of 3.6% pa, and 2.6% pa for the Consumer Prices Index.
The surplus is just £1bn smaller than at the end of November, with a funding level fall of one percentage point.
The firm also sought to reassure Carillion and other scheme members that the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) can more than cope with the collapsed construction firm's 13 UK DB schemes being absorbed.
While "unscrupulous advisers" are targeting members to coax them into transferring their pots based on the news, the actuarial firm reassured affected staff or pensioners that their pots are safe.
The schemes are predicted to have a combined section 179 shortfall of around £0.9bn, but the lifeboat fund had £6.1bn of reserves as of 31 March 2017, and a funding level of 121%.
Also, the PPF does not use the same assumptions as under the section 179 measure to fund itself and may be able to recover some debt from the collapsed building firm.
First Actuarial partner Rob Hammond said Carillion employees need to know their "pensions are protected".
"The PPF can take the strain of Carillion's £0.9bn s179 shortfall - the actual impact on the PPF will be lower than £0.9bn - and it is well-equipped to cope with any future insolvencies," he said. "The financial position of the UK's remaining [circa] 6,000 DB schemes will also improve over time as companies continue to plug funding deficits.
"So, we urge members not to fall for scaremongering from unscrupulous advisers using situations like this to encourage people to transfer out of their own valuable, DB schemes."
His comments came as the PPF revealed it had flagged Carillion's pension schemes as "at risk" in autumn last year. In an interview with the Financial Times, outgoing chief executive Alan Rubenstein said the scheme had also been "on the radar" for some time before that.
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