The NISA Investment Advisors Pension Surplus Risk index fell to 6.6% at the end of January from 7.7% a month earlier. The average plan funding ratio rose 1.6 percentage points to 88.7% as the volatility of the asset and liability components of the index fell 1.2 and 0.3 percentage points, respectively.
The increase in the funding ratio was the largest since November 2016, but it was not enough to offset December's 4.5 percentage-point fall. The improvement was driven by rebounding equity markets. The MSCI ACWI rose 7.8% in January while the S&P 500 rose 7.87%.
High-grade corporate debt yields fell for the third consecutive month to about 3.7%.