Survey: FTSE 350 DB Pension Scheme Survey 2017

This Willis Towers Watson survey focuses on the recently published pension accounting disclosures of the 105 companies in the FTSE 350 that reported at 31 December 2016.

Key findings:

  • Liabilities soared by 25% during 2016, with FTSE 350 liabilities only £25 million shy of the £1 trillion mark in September. Although assets provided strong growth, delivering returns of 20%, these failed to keep up with liabilities so deficits more than doubled.
  • A quarter of the companies that remained open to further accrual of DB benefits chose to close in 2016.
  • Schemes have continued to de-risk assets, with proportions in growth assets falling from 50% to 35% over the period 2008 to 2016.
  • New mortality projections suggest lower future improvements than previously anticipated and could reduce liabilities by as much as 4%.
  • Pension costs are expected to grow by 50% for 2017.

In the survey, changes in funding positions and pension costs over the year have been explored alongside an analysis of the factors influencing the size of the pension scheme deficits.