In October, America’s 100 largest defined benefit pension plans experienced a $44 billion investment gain and a $2 billion increase in pension liabilities, according to a new study.
Milliman, Inc., a Seattle-based global consulting and actuarial firm, released this finding in a summary of results from the October edition of its Pension Funding Index, which consists of 100 of the nation’s largest defined benefit pension plans. The monthly index projects the funded status for pension plans included in the Milliman Pension Funding Study, reflecting the effect of market returns on plan assets and the impact of interest-rate changes on plan liabilities.
The $42 billion improvement in funded status, the survey says, comes in the wake of a $254 billion increase in the pension funding deficit in the third quarter of calendar year 2011, which was the second worst financial quarter on record. Only once in the history of the Milliman study has pension performance been worse: during the historic fourth quarter of calendar year 2008.