Pension fund deficits widen in May, the PPF says

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image captionPensions are now more expensive because people are living longer

The collective deficit of the UK's private sector final-salary pension schemes worsened in May, the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) said.

At the end of the month, the deficit of the 7,300 schemes it monitored widened to £42bn from just £2bn in April.

However, the position of the schemes is still better than a year ago, when their combined deficit stood at £179bn.

The PPF said the deterioration in the past month was due to the falling value of assets such as shares.

"Total scheme assets amounted to £895.8bn in May 2010, representing a decrease of 1.9% over the month and an increase of 15% over the year to May 2010," the PPF said.

"Meanwhile, scheme liabilities [the value of assets needed to pay pensions]... increased 2.4% over the month from £915bn in April 2010 [to £937bn]."

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