finance: New PwC projections predict pension schemes will now need an extra three years to plug their rising deficits, taking the average repayment period to 11 years.
Data from a PwC study covering 98 recent defined benefit pension scheme valuations reveals the recent trend of improving recovery plan lengths is unlikely to continue this year due to the current backdrop of rising deficits and limited cash availability.
Since 2009, when the effects of the recession were still being felt and recovery plan lengths averaged 11 years, the data shows a steady improvement in average recovery plan length to nine and a half years in 2010 and eight years in 2011.
But PwC predicts this downward trend will be reversed in this year and recovery plan lengths will match, or even surpass, the average of 11 years seen in 2009.
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Richard Bunter, senior partner at PwC in Hull, said: "The difficult market combination of low gilt yields and eurozone uncertainty is hitting pension schemes hard.
"Many companies in Yorkshire now face the stark choice of ploughing considerably more cash into their pension scheme, or being saddled with the debt for longer."
property: An old Hull nunnery has taken the bold move to employ a marketing company to help gain more business for its accommodation and conference facilities.
The Endsleigh Mercy Centre in Beverley Road has seen a revamp of its brand, website and communications to bring it into line with stiff competition and is working with Hull agency eskimosoup.
The building, which has a history exceeding 100 years and has in the past been used as the College Of Education and Dove House Hospice, hopes to encourage people from far and wide to make use of its great facilities.
Sister Catherine Ryan said: "We're delighted about our new websites and social media channels as we have a lot to shout about."
The ex-convent's Twitter page is proving popular, especially among the business community, whose members are already enquiring about using its conference spaces.