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The funded status of very large pension plans sponsored by public companies slipped in July as falling interest rates boosted the value of plan liabilities, according to a Milliman Inc. survey released Thursday.
Defined benefit plans offered by U.S. employers with the 100 largest pension programs were an average of 84.8% funded as of July 31, down from 85.5% funded as of June 30.
At the end of July, the plans had $1.457 trillion in assets and $1.718 trillion in liabilities, resulting in a funding deficit of $261.30 billion. That is an increase of about $16 billion compared with the end of June when the funding shortfall was $245.58 billion.
“We finally saw an interruption to the streak of improving pension funded status in July. Interest rates drove up pension liabilities last month,” John Ehrhardt, a Milliman principal and consulting actuary in New York, said in a statement.
The Illinois Senate passed a bill that would modify the way payments are made to the $10.2 billion Chicago Public School Teachers’ Pension & Retirement Fund.