Milliman: Rising discount rates continue to boost pension funding in June

The funded status of 100 of the largest U.S. corporate pension plans continued to surge in June, increasing to 88.3% from 86% at the end of May, according to the latest Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index.

The increase follows a nearly five-percentage-point increase in May, the largest one-month jump in nearly three years. As was the case in May, the increase was entirely due to the discount rate rising 33 basis points to 4.74%.

Assets fell by $25 billion in June due to a -1.71% investment return. The discount rate increase caused the aggregate liabilities to fall by $72 billion, resulting in an overall $179 billion pension deficit.

Year-to-date June 30, assets improved by $37 billion and liabilities dropped by $175 billion, for a $212 billion pension deficit reduction.

Total assets stood at $1.359 trillion and liabilities were $1.538 trillion.

Over the past 12 months, assets were up 7.6% and the pension deficit decreased by $245 billion, resulting in a 13-percentage-point increase in funded status.