The funded status of the 100 largest corporate defined benefit pension plans decreased by $5 billion during July as measured by the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index (PFI). The deficit rose to $257 billion from $252 billion at the end of June, primarily due to declines in equity and fixed income returns during July. As of July 31, the funded ratio declined to 85.0%, down from 85.3% at the end of June.
For purposes of this forecast, we have assumed 2014 aggregate contributions of $44 billion and 2015 aggregate contributions of $31 billion. The drop in contribution expectations for 2015 is reflective of the passage of the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (HATFA), which was signed into law on August 8 and extended the MAP-21 interest rate relief provisions for defined benefit plan sponsors.