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.”