Defined benefit pension funds increased by £38 billion in November, which is the largest recorded rise in value of the UK’s biggest pension schemes.

According to advisory firm Aon Consulting, the accounting position of the 200 largest privately sponsored pension schemes improved over the month.

The Aon200 Index shows the schemes’ combined funding position increased from a deficit of £15 billion at the end of October to a surplus of £23 billion at the end of November.

Marcus Hurd, head of corporate solutions at Aon Consulting, said it was an optimistic sign after a pessimistic year where many trustees and employers showed concern.

"The pensions picture is not black-and-white however and current economic factors present opportunities as well as exposing schemes to risks," he added.

At the end of October, Aon Consulting revealed the value of pensions had fallen by a third in the previous 12 months due to the financial crisis.