The aggregate funded status of the largest U.S. corporate pension plans rose in October, said reports from Wilshire Consulting and Legal & General Investment Management America.
According to Wilshire, the aggregate funding ratio for S&P 500 companies with corporate pension plans rose 40 basis points to 84.7% at the end of October, driven by a 0.9% increase in asset values, which more than offset a 0.5% increase in liability values.
"October marks the second consecutive month of increases in (funding) ratios and the seventh month for the year," said Ned McGuire, managing director and a member of the pension risk solutions group of Wilshire Consulting, in a news release. "October's improvement in funding was driven by an increase in public equity market, which pushed asset values higher. October marks the 12th consecutive month of gains for the Wilshire 5000 Total Market index, its longest such streak in more than 30 years."
Year-to-date through Oct.31, the aggregate funded status is up 3.8 percentage points, according to Wilshire.
In another monthly report, LGIMA found that the funded status of a typical U.S. corporate pension plan with a 60% allocation to global equity and 40% to core fixed income rose 30 basis points over the month to 84.5%, driven primarily by equity market gains.
Asset values increased 1.28% over the month, outpacing a 0.98% increase in liabilities.
The discount rate fell 5 basis points over the month, while the S&P 500 returned 2.3%, LGIMA said in its report.