The aggregate pension deficit of the world's l00 largest companies grew to €160 billion ($209 billion) as of Sept. 30, up 6.7% since the end of 2009, according to investment consultant and actuary Lane Clark & Peacock.
The dip in funded status came despite strong investment returns in 2010 and record contributions totaling €40 billion in 2009, a 60% rise from €25 billion in 2008.
Rising asset prices added €30 billion to multinationals' pension funds in the first nine months of 2010, but falling corporate bond yields used to calculate corporate pension liabilities caused liabilities to rise €40 billion in the same period, according to LCP.
As a percentage of market capitalization, the biggest pension deficits were seen at AXA SA (18%), Boeing Co. (16%) and Daimler AG (15%).
Boeing's pension liabilities were 32% larger than the company's market cap, while those of Panasonic Corp., International Business Machines Corp. and ING Group NV were each more than half the sponsor's market cap.
LCP based its analysis on companies' financial reports.