In October, 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 $266 billion primarily due to a robust investment gain of 1.19% during October. As of October 31, the funded ratio increased to 84.7%, up from 84.3% at the end of September.
The market value of assets rose by $12 billion as a result of October’s investment gain of 1.19%. The Milliman 100 PFI asset value increased to $1.476 trillion at the end of October. Cumulative investment gains in 2017 are 9.57% year-to-date.
The projected benefit obligation increased to $1.742 trillion at the end of October from $1.737 trillion at the end of September. The change resulted from a decrease of three basis points in the monthly discount rate to 3.66% for October from 3.69% for September.
Over the last 12 months (November 2016-October 2017), the cumulative asset return for these pensions has been 10.53% and the Milliman 100 PFI funded status deficit has improved by $105 billion.