In February, the funded status of the 100 largest corporate defined benefit pension plans improved by $13 billion as measured by the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index (PFI). The funded status deficit narrowed to $206 billion from $219 billion at the end of January. February’s improvement was due to a higher reduction in plan liabilities than plan assets. As of February 28, the funded ratio rose to 87.7%, up from 87.3% at the end of January.
Market value of asset losses totaled $32 billion for February, or 1.82%. The Milliman 100 PFI asset value decreased to $1.474 trillion from $1.506 trillion at the end of January.
The projected benefit obligation decreased to $1.680 trillion at the end of February. The change resulted from a 21 basis point increase in the monthly discount rate, to 3.95% for February from 3.74% for January.
Over the last 12 months (March 2017-February 2018), the cumulative asset return for these pensions has been 8.14% and the Milliman 100 PFI funded status deficit improved by $70 billion.