Pension fund deficits stay constant in 2004

Pension scheme deficits in FTSE350 companies remained broadly constant in 2004 despite rises in equity markets, according to research by Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

Projections for 31 December 2004 year-end accounts suggest that deficits fell only slightly from £73bn to £71bn over the year.

The forecasts revealed that pension asset values rose by about £33bn in 2004, but scheme liabilities increased by a similar amount.

Tim Keogh, worldwide partner at Mercer, said: “The findings highlight that deficits will not magically disappear, even in relatively calm market conditions. Many employers are now bracing themselves to contribute more money to make a dent in scheme deficits.”

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