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Pension Deficits

What effect has quantitative easing had on pension deficits of large UK companies?  A recent study has suggested that the final-salary pension shortfall of the top 350 companies in the UK has quadrupled over the past year from £20 billion to £80 billion.  The authors of the report suggest that this increase is largely due to falling gilt yields, arising from the fact that the Bank of England has bought a third of the gilt market through quantitative easing.  But this report ignores the impact of quantitative easing on equities and other real assets held by pension funds.  As highlighted in an earlier post, quantitative easing may have helped sustain returns on real assets.  

Incidentally, Ronan Gallagher, one of my colleagues, has done a lot of really nice work on pension deficits of large firms.  Click here and here.

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