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Fueled by gains in the equity markets, the funded status of pension plans sponsored by large employers jumped in October, according to a Mercer L.L.C. analysis released Tuesday.
On average, pension plans sponsored by companies in the S&P 1500 were 83% funded as of Oct. 31, up from 79% funded as of Sept. 30 and 81% as of Aug. 31.
“October was welcome relief after three straight months of declines,” Matt McDaniel, a partner in Mercer's Philadelphia office said in a statement.
In the aggregate, the Mercer analysis found that the plans' funding deficit fell by $71 billion in October, to $386 billion.
In all, the plans had $1.82 trillion in assets and $2.21 trillion in liabilities at the end of October.
The median funded status for U.S. public pension funds was 71.5% at the end of fiscal year 2014, relatively unchanged from 2013, and only slightly above its 2012 post-recession low of 68.9%, said a new report from Fitch Ratings.