Pension deficits at the UK’s 350 largest listed companies fell by £27bn over the 18 months to June on an accounting basis, according to Barnett Waddingham.

As of 30 June, the combined defined benefit (DB) shortfall was £35bn, compared to £62bn as of January 2017. The upturn was thanks to a mixture of strong investment performance and increased deficit recovery contributions (DRCs), the consultancy said.

The reduced funding hole now, on average, represents just 17% of company’s pre-tax profits compared to 70% at the start of 2017. This is the lowest level since 2011.