In July, the funded status of the 100 largest corporate defined benefit pension plans increased by $4 billion as measured by the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index (PFI). The funded status deficit declined to $282 billion from $286 billion at the end of June due to strong July investment gains. As of July 31, the funded ratio rose to 83.7%, up from 83.5% at the end of June.
July’s 0.93% investment gain raised the Milliman 100 PFI asset value to $1.450 trillion from $1.442 trillion at the end of June. The cumulative 2017 investment gain is a healthy 6.50%.
The projected benefit obligation increased by $4 billion during July, raising the Milliman 100 PFI value to $1.732 trillion from $1.728 trillion at the end of June. The change resulted from a three basis point decrease in the monthly discount rate to 3.71% for July, from 3.74% in June.
Over the last 12 months (August 2016-July 2017), the cumulative asset return for these pensions has been 6.80% and the Milliman 100 PFI funded status deficit has improved by $141 billion.