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Interest rates nudge up pension plan funding


Aided by a slight increase in interest rates, which lowered plan liabilities, the funded status of very large pension plans sponsored by public companies edged up in May, according to a Milliman Inc. survey released Monday.

Defined benefit plans offered by U.S. employers with the 100 largest pension programs were an average of 77.5% funded as of May 31, up from 77% as of April 30.

“For the first time this year, we saw positive interest rate movement,” Zorast Wadia, a Milliman principal and consulting actuary in New York, said in a statement.

At the end of May, the plans had $1.384 trillion in assets and $1.785 trillion in liabilities, resulting in a funding deficit of about $401 billion, a decrease of about $11 billion compared with the end of April.

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