Pension deficits down by £70bn

Pension deficits fell by £70 billion to £551 billion in February, according to research by Xafinity Corporate Solutions.

Its Corporate pension deficits tracker attributed the deficits to the slowing outlook for price inflation during the month and the strength of equity markets in 2013.

Hugh Creasy, director at Xafinity Corporate Solutions (pictured), said: “The last month has provided a glimmer of hope for pension schemes as the outlook for inflation edged down, but this is only one step forward after two steps back last month when expectations for inflation shot up considerably. 

“The overall picture is for deficits to continue north of £0.5 trillion. The buoyant stock market in 2013 may present some optimism, but the real concern will be around whether the economy can deliver real growth. 

“In the meantime, extremely low base rates, and the prospect that these are destined to remain low for some time presents depressing news for pension scheme sponsors.

“Much as the news for the end of February is a little more positive, we should consider whether this month’s decrease of inflation is a false dawn. If inflation takes off in the short to medium term, we could see deficits rising to a new level.”