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Pensions Deficits: Royal Dutch Shell alone has a shortfall of £73bn

Dividends at some of Britain’s largest companies – many of them likely to be a staple of your portfolio – could be at risk from ballooning pension deficits.

Huge final salary pension obligations have the potential to limit your investment returns, with tighter regulation and negative publicity surrounding the demise of BHS, the defunct retailer once owned by Sir Philip Green, already taking their toll.

Analysis by Telegraph Money shows that, of the 10 companies paying the highest dividends in Britain, seven have a pension deficit of more than £10bn, prompting concerns for the sustainability of paymentsto shareholders. Many of us will be investing in these companies through company pension schemes and other savings plans.

The deficit among FTSE 100 companies grew by £95bn in 2016 to £681bn, according to research released last week by pensions consultancy JLT Employee Benefits. Sixteen companies also reported a deficit of more than £10bn, while Royal Dutch Shell alone has a shortfall of £73bn.

Respected fund manager Alex Wright, who runs the Fidelity Special Situations fund, pays particular attention to companies with large pension deficits, describing them as an “albatross around the neck”. FULL ARTICLE and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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