The typical U.S. pension plans funded status climbed 3.2 percentage points in May, mainly because of declining liabilities, according to BNY Mellon Asset Management. The increase brought the funded level for a typical U.S. pension plan in the black for the first time in 2008. Since Jan. 1, the typical plans funded status is up 1 percentage point. Rising yields on longer-term corporate bonds pushed liabilities lower, while assets rose 0.8% in the month.
Improving investor confidence helped the stock market, while higher oil prices and the apparent end of Fed easing drove bond yields higher, Peter Austin, executive director of BNY Mellon Pension Services, said in a news release. While this is good news for plan sponsors, we expect a continuation of funded status volatility over the course of 2008.