Pension deficit for FTSE 350 firms approaches £120 billion

The aggregate deficit of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes for companies in the FTSE 350 approached £120 billion at the end of May 2012, according to research by Barnett Waddingham.

The research also showed that some sectors of the FTSE 350, in particular the industrial sector, have been more exposed to falls in pension scheme funding levels over the last 12 months.

The†financial sector holds 46% of its scheme assets in bonds, while†the industrial sector holds 35% of its scheme assets in bonds.

Nick Griggs, head of corporate consulting at Barnett Waddingham, said: “It is interesting to see how the recent volatility in bond markets has affected schemes from the different sectors.

“Our research quantifies the direct exposure that companies in certain sectors have to the equity markets and the impact quantitative easing is having on the pension schemes’ funding level.”

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