Figures revealed, during a key review period for company pensions, that the collective deficit for private sector pension schemes had increased in March. The deficit for the 6,316 schemes rose to £237bn at the end of March, from £201bn a month earlier. A deficit of £204bn was recorded at the end of March 2012 showing that the funds’ finances were worse than a year earlier. The figures, from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) show the continued pressure that firms are facing with maintaining these pensions. However, the deficit is not as high as the peak of £317bn that was reached in May 2012.Melanie Duffield, head of research at the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), said: “These figures show that final-salary pensions in the private sector continue to be under real pressure. The ongoing uncertainty in the economic outlook and the prospect of further quantitative easing are keeping gilt yields down, which is contributing to the rise in these deficits.” The current figures show that 5,080 schemes were in deficit at the end of March and 1,236 schemes were in surplus meaning that there are still ‘Challenging times’ ahead to lower the current deficit.The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with debt recovery solicitors in Cambridge and across the country.