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Pension plan funding levels slip in August: Mercer

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Pension Plan Funding

Funded levels of pension plans sponsored by large companies slipped on average in August as falling interest rates, which reduced the value of plan liabilities, more than offset rising equity markets, according to a Mercer L.L.C. survey released Thursday.

On average, pension plans sponsored by companies in the S&P 1500 were 84% funded as of Aug. 31, down from 85% at the end of July.

“Barring any increase in bond yields before the year end, companies will be facing more significant disclosed deficits and pension costs for 2015,” Jim Ritchie, a principal in Mercer's retirement practice in Baltimore, said in a statement.

In all, the plans' aggregate deficit was $369 billion at the end of August, up from $340 billion a month earlier.

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