The funded status of the 100 largest corporate defined benefit pension plans improved by $11 billion during February, as measured by the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index. The deficit fell to $131 billion from $142 billion at the end of January, due to strong investment performance offsetting an increase in the pension benefit obligation (PBO).
Over the last 12 months (March 2013 to February 2014), the Milliman 100 PFI funded status deficit has improved by $182 billion. The higher trending interest rates and above-expected asset returns during most of 2013 drove the improvement in funded status. The funded ratio of the Milliman 100 companies has increased over the past 12 months to 91.8% from 81.2%.