Pension scheme funding levels hold firm as markets stabilise
05 Dec 2022
XPS Pensions Group estimates the aggregate funding level of UK pension schemes worsened slightly by 1% to 105% during November on a long-term target basis, as gilt yields fell c0.4% over the month following sharp rises and significant volatility during September and October.
The fall in gilt yields and resulting increase in liabilities were slightly offset extent by long-term inflation expectations falling by 0.1% over the month, reducing pension scheme liabilities.
A strong performance by equity and corporate bond markets, particularly for UK markets, offset the impact of falling gilt yields further, meaning funding levels remained relatively stable over the period.
UK pension schemes' funding positions have fallen by c.£13bn over the month to 29 November 2022 against long-term funding targets, an analysis from XPS's DB:UK funding tracker has revealed. Based on assets of £1,559bn and liabilities of £1,485bn, the aggregate funding level of UK pension schemes on a long-term target basis was 105% as of 29 November 2022.
Following a period of significant volatility in the gilt market during September and October, yields stabilised during November as nominal gilt yields ended the month down 0.4%, while long-term inflation expectations continued to fall.
Tom Birkin, Actuary at XPS Pensions Group said: "Following the unprecedented market turmoil and collateral call issues we've seen over the previous two months, November was a much-needed period of relative calm for pension schemes.
Many pension schemes remain in a very healthy position and should be exploring options to de-risk and lock in some of the gains made during 2022, including full or partial buy-ins. With the bulk annuity market getting busier and some insurers becoming more selective, it's important for schemes to prepare well before any market approach."
XPS DB:UK tracks the funding position of UK defined benefit (DB) pension schemes on a long-term target basis and allows real time monitoring of changes and analysis of the reasons behind any movement.
XPS DB:UK Funding Watch monitors the combined deficit and funding level of UK defined benefit (DB) pension schemes (i.e. all registrable schemes - including hybrids) on a long-term target basis using a discount rate of Gilts + 0.5%. It combines XPS's market leading Member Analytics and the award-winning journey planning tool, Radar, enabling real time monitoring of changes and analysis of the reasons behind any movement.
An online version of XPS DB:UK is available here:https://www.xpsgroup.com/services/xps-pensions/xps-dbuk-funding-watch/
XPS Pensions Group plc published this content on 05 December 2022 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 05 December 2022 13:31:05 UTC.