The 100 largest U.S. corporate pension plans' funding ratio improved in March to 82.7% from 81.2% in February, according to the latest Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index.
The aggregate pension funding deficit decreased by $29 billion to $285 billion as of March 31. Pension liabilities dropped $14 billion to $1.651 trillion as a result of the discount rate increasing six basis points to 4.22%.
Investment gains of 1.21% during the month increased assets by $14 billion, up to $1.366 trillion.
In the first quarter of 2013, there was an improvement of $106 billion since the end of 2012, when the funding ratio was 77.2%.
“The funded ratio has gone from 77% at the end of last year to just under 83% at the end of the first quarter, which is about as strong of a rally as we could hope for in this persistent low-interest-rate environment,” said John Ehrhardt, principal and consulting actuary at Milliman and co-author of the report, in a news release.