Defined benefit (DB) pension scheme trustees have been urged to consider the suitability of their funding plans after last week's ‘Black Monday' market shock.
Aon Hewitt also warned schemes that were mid-valuation they will have to work with their sponsors to carefully examine the new deficit situation and come up with a solution together.
Partner Matthew Arends said trustees might have to change their funding policy in light of the swings in deficit values since the date of their valuation and the day they are due to sign it off.
This could involve asking the employer for a big cash injection to offset losses, or agreeing to stick to the original plan.
Figures published by the consultancy on 1 September showed FTSE350 companies have seen their asset values fall by a combined £30bn since 1 April.
It also estimated the wind-up liabilities of the UK's largest listed companies have increased by almost £15bn over the same period.
Equity market volatility and stubbornly low gilt yields have led to the ballooning of deficits, which Hymans Robertson said soared by £30bn in a single day after the FTSE 100 plummeted by 4.67% last week.
Arends said: "We don't generally advocate pension schemes making knee-jerk reactions to volatile markets but where a pension scheme is supported by a weak covenant, trustees will need quickly to take stock of increasing deficits and consider the viability of their funding plans.
"Pension schemes in the middle of an actuarial valuation also face a dilemma. In this situation, the current size of the scheme deficit is of increased relevance and there is a case for both trustees and employer taking stock of the new deficit situation before agreeing to a funding plan.
"Funding regulations permit the actuary to sign off the schedule of contributions based on the position either at the valuation date or at the date of signing.
"Ordinarily, pension schemes would be reluctant to change their policy on this point between valuations, but if a valuation is underway and the current deficit is substantially larger than it was at the valuation date, trustees and employers will need to be confident in the covenant strength if they are not going to take this into account.
"Additionally, the rising deficit may itself have caused a weakening of the employer's covenant."
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