The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has reported a strong financial position and healthy balance sheet in its 2015/16 Annual Report and Accounts, published today.
The PPF figures show a £4.1 billion surplus and a funding ratio of 116.3 per cent, putting it in a strong position to face the future.
Despite the BHS pension schemes, a potentially substantial claim, entering the PPF’s assessment period shortly before the year end, the PPF remains robust and capable of protecting members of defined benefit schemes and ensuring they receive compensation.
With the wider economic environment presenting further uncertainty over the past year, the PPF’s award winning investment strategy has delivered positive returns during this time. The PPF now has £23.4 billion in assets.
Andy McKinnon, the PPF’s Chief Financial Officer, said: “We had a successful year despite the challenging economic backdrop. Our robust strategy has put us in a strong position to manage the uncertainties ahead and our long-term risk model predicts that we will achieve financial self-sufficiency by 2030 in 93 per cent of scenarios.
“Members of defined benefit pension schemes in the UK can be reassured that we will protect their financial future should their employer fail.”
Intended to place the financial results in their broader, long term context, the PPF has also published its annual Funding Strategy Update today. This document describes the framework in which the PPF makes its financial decisions and how it assesses financial risks to the fund.
Hans den Boer, the PPF’s Chief Risk Officer, said: “There are clear risks in the current economic environment, which have grown since the end of March point that our modelling is based on, but our funding strategy remains on track and we continue to make good progress against it.”
Between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016:
- New claims on the PPF were low relative to previous years, although the value of claims is higher than last year – 47 new schemes brought combined claims of £475.9m compared to £322.3m in 2014/15. The biggest of these was the BHS pension scheme.
- 10,005 new members entered the PPF in 2015/16, making a total of 225,500 deferred and pensioner members.
- Of the £2.4bn total compensation the PPF has paid since it was established in 2005, £616m was paid out in 2015/16.