By Marcus Leach

According to data released by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) today (Tuesday) the UK's private sector pension funds deficit has been cut to £159 billion as of the end of October.

Despite this being the third consecutive month that final-salary schemes have been in the red it has been a marked reduction in the deficit.

Highlights:

• The aggregate deficit of the 6,533 schemes in the PPF 7800 index is estimated to have decreased over the month to £158.6 billion at the end of October 2011, from a deficit of £196.4 billion at the end of September.
• The funding ratio rose from 83.1 per cent to 86.3 per cent.
• Total assets were £1000.5 billion and total liabilities were £1159.1 billion.
• There were 5,175 schemes in deficit and 1,358 schemes in surplus.

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