The funded status of the 100 largest corporate defined benefit pension plans improved by $58 billion during March 2012, as measured by the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index (PFI). The deficit decreased to $227 billion from $285 billion at the end of February. These results reflect the annual update of the Milliman 100 companies and their actual 2011 financial disclosures included in the Milliman 2012 Pension Funding Study (published March 29, 2012).
The funded ratio improved from 82.0% at the end of February to 85.1% at the end of March. March’s funded status increase was due primarily to an increase in the corporate bond interest rates that are the benchmarks used to value pension liabilities.