Pension Funding Index December 2017

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By Charles J. Clark, Zorast Wadia | 07 December 2017

In November, the funded status of the 100 largest corporate defined benefit pension plans improved by $7 billion as measured by the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index (PFI). The deficit fell to $258 billion primarily due to a robust investment gain of 0.82% during November. As of November 30, the funded ratio increased to 85.2%, up from 84.8% at the end of October.

The market value of assets rose by $7 billion as a result of November’s investment gain of 0.82%. The Milliman 100 PFI asset value increased to $1.484 trillion at the end of November. Cumulative investment gains in 2017 are 10.53% year-to-date.

The projected benefit obligation remained unchanged at $1.742 trillion at the end of November.

Over the last 12 months (December 2016-November 2017), the cumulative asset return for these pensions has been 11.88% and the Milliman 100 PFI funded status deficit has improved by $40 billion. Discount rates experienced a decrease over the last 12 months, moving from 3.98% as of November 30, 2016, to 3.67% a year later.