NU Online News Service, March 25, 2:13 p.m. – Funding levels at defined-benefit pension plans fell 10% to 15% worldwide last year, mainly because of the downturn in capital markets, according to a new analysis by Towers Perrin, Valhalla, N.Y.
The benefits consulting firm found the second straight year of poor results for pension plans in the countries studied.
Benchmark plans in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and part of Europe fell about 25% in funding levels over the last two years, while Canada and Australia had losses of about 15% during that time. Australia had the best performing benchmark plan in 2001, with an equity return of 10%. Increased liabilities, however, caused Australian plan funding levels to drop 2%.