ukThe gap between assets and liabilities of UK defined benefit (DB) pension schemes widened still further last month, with deficits reaching the deepest level recorded as long-term bond yields declined further, according to data from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

The UK pensions lifeboat released its latest PPF 7800 Index bulletin, which revealed that the aggregate deficit of the 5,945 schemes in the index has increased to an estimated £408.0bn (€477.8bn) at the end of July – the highest level recorded by the index – up from a £383.6bn deficit at the end of June.

The average funding ratio of the schemes deteriorated to 77.4% at the end of July from 78% the month before. Total assets were £1,401bn at the end of July, while total liabilities were £1,808.9bn, and 5,020 schemes were in deficit and 925 in surplus.