Private pension schemes are in for a rocky ride in 2017, experts today warned, after a slight widening in their collective deficit last month.
According to the JLT Employee Benefits’ latest monthly index, there was a shortfall of £434 billion as of the end of December, slightly worse than the month before and compared with a deficit of £233bn for December 2015.
Charles Cowling, director, JLT Employee Benefits, said: “2016 has been a turbulent and tumultuous year not just for politics and markets, but also for pension schemes.
“This last month we have seen a slight deterioration in deficits but they are still below the record heights of over £500bn recorded at the end of August.
“Now we have reached the all-important year-end for many companies, we are going to see many companies’ accounts showing a marked deterioration in their year-end pension numbers.
“There will be instances where the pension scheme will represent a serious threat to the company’s balance sheet and, in some cases, the company’s ability to pay dividends.”