21st May 2020

Are pension scheme outcomes wider than ever before?

The government is writing cheques left, right and centre, providing aid to many who need it. Yesterday, it also borrowed £3.75bn by selling 3-year gilts at a yield of minus 0.003%. So the government is borrowing today, and giving back less than it borrowed, in three years. And it will try to inflate some of that debt away as well. This is a really helpful outcome for the government, given the current situation.

And it can do this because there is so much demand for gilts – it received bids for £8.1bn in today’s auction, over twice the amount the Debt Management Office (DMO) was looking to sell.

If your pension scheme hedged when some said you were mad “because yields cannot possibly go lower”, your blow is softened, or mitigated. If your scheme did not, this hurts, a lot.

The range of outcomes for pension schemes seems to be getting very wide now! Have they ever been wider?