November saw the largest recorded rise in the value of the UK’s biggest pension schemes.
The accounting position of the 200 largest privately sponsored pension schemes improved by £38bn over the month, according to advisory firm Aon Consulting.
Its Aon200 Index showed that the schemes’ combined funding position improved from a deficit of £15bn at the end of October to a surplus of £23bn at the end of November.
The main reason for the rise was a dramatic fall in inflation, which left schemes with lower forecast payouts.
Marcus Hurd, head of corporate solutions at Aon Consulting, said it was an optimistic sign after a pesimistic year.
“It has been one hell of a year and I have never seen anything like it, with market conditions frequently changing dramatically on a daily basis,” he said.
“We have never known trustees and employers to express so much concern. The pensions picture is not black-and-white, however, and current economic factors present opportunities as well as exposing schemes to risks.”