Estimating the number of public companies with underfunded defined benefit company pension schemes is complicated by several factors. Identification of the sponsoring company is not straightforward since many schemes will be directly connected to a subsidiary or holding company. In addition not only are valuations (and therefore deficits) calculated in different ways, they are not calculated frequently. Changes in the economic climate such as those we are seeing at the moment also alter the funding situation of schemes to a large degree.
In December 2006, the Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund produced aggregate funding figures based on a group of defined benefit schemes in their joint publication 'The Purple Book'. While these figures do not cover every defined benefit scheme they are representative. This detailed publication can be found in the House of Commons Library and on the Pensions Regulator's website at: