The funded status of the typical corporate defined benefit pension plan increased about five percentage points in the first quarter, helped both by strong equity markets and a slight increase in the discount rate, according to a quarterly report from UBS Global Asset Management.
According to the UBS Pension Fund Fitness Tracker, using data from 500 U.S. corporations' defined benefit plans, the typical funded status improved to 82%. A typical plan's portfolio returned 4.7% during the quarter, while the discount rate increased 10 to 15 basis points, resulting in a 1.6% decrease in liabilities.
The S&P 500 index finished the quarter up 10.6% while the MSCI EAFE index was up 9.8% in the quarter. The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds increased nine basis points to 1.85%, while the 30-year yield increased 15 basis points to 3.1%.