The Purple Book, also known as The Pensions Universe Risk Profile, is now in its 15th edition and gives the most comprehensive overview of the risks posed by the UK defined benefit (DB) schemes protected by the PPF. 

The Purple Book, also known as The Pensions Universe Risk Profile, is now in its 15th edition and gives the most comprehensive overview of the risks posed by the UK defined benefit (DB) schemes protected by the PPF. 

The 2020 dataset reveals the aggregate funding ratio decreased over the year to 31 March 2020 from 99 per cent to 95 per cent, primarily due to market movements. The number of underfunded schemes increased and 63 per cent of schemes were in deficit with an aggregate deficit of £229 billion at 31 March 2020, compared to £160 billion in 2019. 

Stephen Wilcox, the PPF’s Chief Risk Officer, said “The Purple Book gives us an in-depth understanding of the risks we face from the universe of schemes we protect. Understanding this information helps us to model the level of we may need to absorb in years to come, and helps inform decisions on the levy we charge and our investment strategy.

“The latest edition of The Purple Book shows that DB pension schemes have continued to de-risk their investments, and while the aggregate deficit of underfunded schemes was shrinking, this has reversed due to market movements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It also shows that the downward trend in the number of schemes and members continues to.” 

Lisa McCrory, PPF Chief Finance Officer and Chief Actuary, said: “Our role is to manage funding prudently and to manage our balance sheet effectively. Over the last 15 years we have improved our ability to do so and our understanding of our risks. To this end, we are preparing for a complete review of our funding strategy next year, as set out in our Strategic Plan.

“Our new Long-Term Risk Model allows us to improve how we manage and approach our balance sheet risk. The assumptions we build in to our modelling work are regularly updated to reflect changes in prevailing economic conditions, including the expected impact from COVID-19 insolvencies which shows the risk from new claims has increased. However, we remain on a strong footing to continue protecting the UK DB pensions universe.”

This year the PPF have introduced an interactive feature which allows users to select their own datasets and download graphs as images. 

Download the Purple Book

View previous versions of The Purple Book

Ends

For further press information contact:

PPF Press Office
020 8406 2107
[email protected]
Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn