Defined benefit (DB) schemes have not had a good start to the year with falling oil prices and low interest rates according to JLT Employee Benefits.
In its latest monthly update, JLT estimated the rise in pension deficits had slowed compared to a year ago.
Liabilities in FTSE 100 companies fell from £663bn to £615bn year on year as the deficits went from £98bn to £77bn.
FTSE 350 schemes saw their deficits fall from £112bn to £89bn while it was estimated all private UK schemes saw deficits fall from £283bn to £252bn.
Assets in private sector schemes were estimated to be £1,222bn and liabilities were estimated to be £1,474bn as of 31 January 2016.
But JLT Employee Benefits director Charles Cowling said the year not would be an easy one for companies with DB schemes: "A falling oil price, weakening pound and volatility in Chinese markets have all been factors in a difficult month for markets which has seen asset prices fall and pension deficits rise - albeit to lower levels than 12 months ago," he said.
Bank of England governor (pictured above) Mark Carney's recent comments meant market expectations for the next rise in interest rates had moved to the second half of 2017, he added.
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