The funded ratio of the 100 largest U.S. corporate defined benefit pension plans studied by Milliman increased 0.5 percentage points to 75.5% in November, the first net increase since April, confirmed index co-author John Ehrhardt, principal at Milliman.
Assets increased $20 billion, outpacing an $18 billion increase in liabilities.
“It's good news, but not good, good news,” Mr. Ehrhardt said in an interview. “What we're hoping for is a win-win where assets go up and liabilities go down. We're hoping December is a win-win.”
Cumulative asset returns were 14.74% for the 12 months ended Nov. 30. Funded status fell by $179 billion over the same 12-month time period.
The November increase raises the total pension asset value to $1.036 trillion from $1.016 trillion at the end of October.
The funded ratio of the Milliman 100 was 85.8% on Nov. 30, 2008.