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Strong Equities Drive Pension Funded Status Increase in June

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U.S. Corporate pension funded statusPension funded status rose nearly two percentage points to over 71% in June after falling dramatically in April and May, BNY Mellon reported Thursday.

Funded status rose to 71.6% thanks to strong equity markets, according to BNY Mellon. Markets in the United States rose 3.9% and developed international markets rose 7%. These improvements led to an increase of 2.7% in typical corporate pension assets.

Liabilities rose 0.1%, while the Aa corporate discount rate remained at 3.98%.

Funded status fell to its lowest level since BNY Mellon Asset Management began tracking this data in 2006 in September 2011, when funded status dropped to 70.1% from 78% the month before. 

Public pensions have been doing relatively well also. The U.S. Census Bureau reported in June that public pensions had their largest earnings on record in the first quarter of 2012, earning $179.2 billion and pushing total holdings and investments up 5.6% from the fourth quarter, to $2.8 trillion.