Company pension fund deficits are still a big headache, with FTSE 100 companies currently facing cumulative pension fund deficits of £47bn, according to JLT Pension Capital Strategies. In a way, this is good news because the deficit was the same this time last year, but it can fluctuate wildly, so taking a snapshot reading doesn't really tell the whole story. But what is clear is that defined-benefit pension schemes in the private sector are disappearing very quickly because they are expensive to run. And existing pension rights cannot be touched. So the problem of matching the books for some companies will take a long time.