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U.S. pension plan funding declines six percentage points

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Funding ratios at the typical U.S. corporate pension plan dropped six percentage points in February as falling equity markets continued to reduce the value of assets in moderate risk pension portfolios, according to BNY Mellon Asset Management.

Moderate risk assets declined 6.4 percent in February, while liabilities for these plans decreased 0.6 percent during the month. For the year to date, the funding ratio for the typical plan has declined one percentage point, as represented by the BNY Mellon Pension Liability Index. Since the beginning of 2008, the funded ratios for these plans have fallen 32.3 percentage points.

“Rapidly falling equity values continue to inflict pain on U.S. pension plans,” said Peter Austin, executive director of BNY Mellon Pension Services. “U.S. stocks fell for a second straight month and have dropped 18 percent so far this year. International stock markets have done even worse. Pension plans had some very minor relief from the widening of corporate bond spreads, which drove the small drop in liabilities.”