first_imgStrong investment performance and increased deficit contributions by employers were behind the reduction in the aggregate deficit, according to Barnett Waddingham.“This is the third year in a row that deficit contributions have increased, suggesting that the FTSE350 companies are stepping up their commitment to paying down DB pension scheme deficits,” it said.However, the report also found that the average deficit contribution paid by FTSE350 companies as a proportion of dividends remained at 10% in 2017.The firm speculated that the Pensions Regulator may be concerned that around 43 companies boosted dividend payments while at the same time reducing deficit contributions. “However, within this group there will be some companies who agreed to pay higher levels of contributions in the short term, which have now done their job in reducing the DB deficit,” it commented.“It is only right that they can now return to more normal contribution levels,” the firm added.Nick Griggs, partner at Barnett Waddingham, said that while the deficit shrinkage was positive news, it would not take much to tip the balance the other way.“Our analysis suggests that a 0.5% fall in bond yields in 2017 would have pushed the aggregate deficit of the FTSE350 DB schemes up to £85bn,” he said.“With the health of the UK and global economy threatened by a lack of progress with Brexit and the threat of a trade war from Trump’s America First assault, there could a major impact on the size of pension deficits and the ability of FTSE350 companies to pay the contributions needed to clear these,” Griggs warned.Separately, consultancy Mercer earlier this month released figures quantifying the likely size of UK DB deficits for FTSE350 companies, saying the aggregate pension deficit had more than halved in 2018 so far, improving by a total of £40bn from £72bn at the start of the year to £32bn.With its figures compiled on a different basis to those from Barnett Waddingham, Mercer included data for July as well as the first half.In July, both asset values and liabilities had risen and the deficit had increased by £3bn compared to £29bn at the end of June, the firm said. Pension deficits at major UK companies have fallen sharply in the first half of this year, but are still susceptible to bond yield shifts, according to a new report.Consultancy Barnett Waddingham estimated the aggregate defined benefit (DB) pension scheme deficit for companies in the FTSE350 index was around £35bn (€38.9bn) on an accounting basis at the end of June 2018, down from £55bn at the end of last year. At the beginning of last year the aggregate deficit stood at £62bn.The £35bn deficit compares to FTSE350 companies’ total pre-tax profits of £210bn, putting the collective deficit at 17% of total corporate profits compared with 70% 18 months ago, according to the firm’s latest report analysing the impact of DB pensions on UK business.This bucks the trend seen since 2011, where deficits steadily increased as a proportion of pre-tax profits from a low of 25% and hitting a peak of 70% in 2016, the firm said.last_img read more

first_imgThree Trojans were named Pac-12 Track and Field Athletes of the Week on Tuesday, marking the second week in a row where USC athletes have dominated the Athlete of the Week competition.Sophomore Ricky Morgan was selected as the men’s track athlete, senior Jaide Stepter was selected as the women’s track athlete and sophomore long jumper Adoree’ Jackson was selected as the men’s field athlete.Morgan’s award came after winning the 400-meter dash at the Power Conference Cardinal and Gold meet, running a personal record of 45.54 seconds and taking almost a second off his previous personal record. His time is the best in the country and helped the Trojans take second at that meet against high-ranked teams such as No. 3 Florida, No. 7 Texas and No. 13 Ohio State.Septer also runs the 400-meter dash and set the USC women’s record at the Cardinal and Gold meet at 50.91 seconds. The time ranks fifth in Pac-12 history and leads the country. Septer also ran a 50.6 second leg to win the women’s 4×400-meter relay at the same meet.Jackson won the long jump at the Cardinal and Gold Challenge with a 7.82-meter jump, a length which tied for sixth in the country. He also placed second in the 100-meter race with 10.41 second time, which ranks in the top 20 in the nation.This was the second Athlete of the Week award for all three of these Trojans in the last two weeks of the 2016 track and field season. Their next meet will take place this weekend in San Diego at the California Collegiate Invitational.last_img read more