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Most pension schemes 'in the red'

Four out of five pension schemes in the UK are in deficit, new figures released by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) have suggested this week.

The PPF report found that 5,345, or 81 per cent, of UK private sector final-salary schemes are now in the red.

The overall deficit of the pension schemes increased from £117 billion in August to £196 billion in September.

The decline in share values has been cited as one of the main causes behind the deepening pension crisis, with the FTSE all-share index dropping by 6.1 per cent last month.

Another reason is that the Government's bond yields have fallen over the course of the year, making it more expensive to pay for pensions from now on.

The National Association of Pension Funds recently said that the Bank of England's policy of quantitative easing, which will see an extra £75 billion pounds pumped into the economy, could hit pension funds particularly hard.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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