Private sector pensions deficit approaches £300bn

The collapse of BHS highlighted the 'potential pain of pension deficits', according to JLT. Picture: Andrew O'Brien
The collapse of BHS highlighted the 'potential pain of pension deficits', according to JLT. Picture: Andrew O'Brien
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Britain’s businesses are nursing a collective pensions deficit of almost £300 billion, according to a report out today.

JLT Employee Benefits’ latest monthly tracker shows that total private-sector, defined-benefit pension scheme shortfalls amount to £294bn, up from £262bn a year ago. The firm estimates the schemes’ funding positions under the standard accounting measure used in company reports and accounts.

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Charles Cowling, director, JLT Employee Benefits, said: “With interest rates staying stubbornly low, total pension scheme deficits are now almost breaking through the £300bn barrier.

“In the last couple of weeks two companies – BHS and Tata Steel – have shown the potential pain of these pension deficits. If members of either or both of these schemes end up in the Pension Protection Fund they will inevitably end up with lower benefits and the PPF will have some large additional deficits to manage.”