Just under two-thirds of trustees have taken action to prepare for the impact of any Brexit outcome on their sponsor covenant and investments, Hymans Robertson research finds.
While the planned departure date has been extended out to 31 October at the latest, most trustees had taken some action, although their approach varied.
The consultancy's survey of 131 trustees and independent trustees in January this year found over a third (37%) had reviewed their employer covenant situation as a direct result of Brexit, while 29% had considered their contingency plans.
A number had taken actions to protect investment in expectation of market volatility, largely through hedging, but the form of this varied among schemes.
While 23% had increased their hedging of interest rates in anticipation of falling yields, just 12% had decreased their exposure to currencies in case sterling falls.
Partner and head of defined benefit (DB) trustee consulting Susan McIlvogue said the figures were "encouraging".
"It is good to see that many schemes have implemented extra protection against market instability, with almost a quarter increasing their interest rate hedging," she said. "With yields falling over 20 basis points in March, this decision is already paying off for those schemes.
"It is also reassuring to see that a significant number of trustees are reviewing contingency plans and the covenant of their sponsor employer. These are key areas to keep under review until the impact of Brexit becomes clearer."
The Pension Protection Fund's funding tracker for March found an aggregate deficit across 5,500 DB schemes of £43.9bn, having risen from £8.6bn over the month on the back of falling gilt yields.
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