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Pension plan funding slips in April: Mercer


The funded status of pension plans sponsored by large companies continued to fall in April, according to a Mercer L.L.C. survey released Monday.

On average, pension plans sponsored by companies in the S&P 1500 were 84% funded as April 30, down from 85% in March and 87% in February.

While equity market investments in April were positive, those gains, Mercer noted, were offset by lower interest rates, which boosted the value of plan liabilities.

“Long-term interest rates continue to decline in 2014, taking away about half the improvements we saw in 2013,” Jim Ritchie, a principal in Mercer's Baltimore office said in a statement.

In all, the plans had an aggregate funding deficit of $360 billion at the end of April, up from a $332 billion shortfall at the end of March and a $276 billion deficit at the end of February.