The funded status of pension plans around the world increased in the fourth quarter, according to a Towers Perrin report released today. The Global Capital Market update covers defined benefit plans in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. A year-end equity rally led to an increase in the funded status of every market except Canada, which saw a slight decrease of 0.4%, and the eurozone, (based on typical funded plans in Belgium and the Netherlands), which saw a decrease of 5.76%. While the U.S. saw a fourth quarter increase of 2.5%, it had a decrease of 0.1% for the entire year.
At year end, Brazil had the best funded ratio, at 125%. Australia came in second with 83%, followed by Canada at 76%, Japan at 67%, the United States at 65%, the United Kingdom at 60% and the eurozone at 54%.