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BoE maintains quantitative easing programme

04 February 2010

An announcement from the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has revealed that the bank is to maintain is current historically low interest rate of 0.5 per cent.

The MPC also said that the Bank's £200 billion quantitative easing (QE) programme will also be maintained.

Joanne Segars, chief executive of the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), said she hoped that the move would mean a rise in yields and a decrease in pension scheme deficits.

"The NAPF accepted the need for QE, but we also recognised that it was a strong medicine which artificially depressed gilt yields and increased pension funds' reported liabilities in the process," she said.

Depressed gilt yields leave a number of trustees concerned about funding their retirements.

Programmes such as equity release could help to ease those fears with cash taken from the value of a homeowner's property.

Ms Segars called on the government to "play its part in supporting pension funds" by increasing the number of long-dated and index-linked gilts it issues.