The UK’s Pension Protection Fund (PPF) said its funding ratio rose to 156 pct at end-March this year against 137.9 pct a year earlier, with total consolidated reserves up £400 mln at £12.1bln from £11.7 bln The strong growth in the funding ratio was mainly due to reported liabilities dropping some 25pct.
In its annual 2022-23 report, it said assets under management fell to £32.5 bln from £39 bln but growth assets managed a return of 1.9 pct compared to 7.6 pct in the previous year. The PPF levy to help protect DB pension scheme members raised £386 mln against £476 mln and a further cut in the levy is expected.
The PPF’s chief executive officer, Oliver Morley, said, “Despite all the challenge we’ve seen over the year, including market volatility, we’ve continued to deliver on our mission….our funding review gave us an assurance we could lower the levy, without risking the security of our members’ benefits. Last year we reduced the levy significantly and as we maintain our financial resilience, we expect our reliance on the levy to further reduce.”
The PPF, set up in 2005, protects some 9.6 mln members in over 5,200 DB schemes. It paid out £1.2 bln in benefits in 2022-2023, compared to £1.1 bln a year earlier.