The Bank of Ireland’s pension fund has seen a significant increase in its pension deficit as a result of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, disclosing a shortfall €460m higher than in December.
The defined benefit (DB) scheme’s deficit increased to €1.2bn at the end of June, the bank said in an announcement to the Irish stock exchange, ahead of its half-year results set to be published at the end of July.
The Irish scheme joins UK DB funds struggling in the aftermath of the country’s referendum.
The most authoritative source of deficit figures, the PPF 7800 Index, recorded an £89bn (€105bn) increase in the days after the vote.
In the statement, the bank said: “The outcome of the EU referendum in the UK has impacted, amongst other factors, foreign exchange rates and interest rates including AA corporate bond yields, which, under IAS 19 accounting requirements, are used to discount the liabilities in the group’s sponsored defined benefit pension schemes.”
The bank said that, as a consequence, the deficit had risen from €470m at the end of December to around €1.2bn.
The scheme, closed to new members in 2007 and closed to accrual in 2014, reported assets of €6.8bn at the end of last year.
While the company applied a discount rate of 2.3% at the end of December, and assumed inflation of 1.6% – both measures were up by 10 basis points over the end of 2014 – it calculated a 0.25% drop in the discount rate would increase the deficit by €328m.
The marked increase in the scheme’s deficit comes after several years of fluctuating shortfalls for Bank of Ireland.
Over the course of 2012, it saw an even steeper increase in the shortfall, from €413m to €1.1bn.