NISA Pension Surplus Risk index dips on market gains
The NISA Pension Surplus Risk index fell 0.2 percentage points in December as the volatility of both its asset and liability components fell. The average plan funded status rose to 91.4% from 90.2%. The index's monthly decline was its third in four months as equities rose more than 10% between the end of August and the end of the year. Yields on high-grade corporate debt ticked hire in December, helping corporate pension funds' cause.
For all of 2019, the index fell 1.8 percentage points, and hit an all-time low in June of 5.3%. The average plan funded status rose over the period from 88.7%; however, the funded status struggled to stay above the 90% mark that it maintained for much of 2018.
NISA Investment Advisors' index represents an expected rise or fall in assets given a one-standard deviation change in returns in a given year. The index constituents consist of the 100 largest publicly traded corporate pension plans as measured by pension benefit obligation. As of Dec. 31, the plan liabilities of the constituent base totaled $1.3 trillion, with $1.2 trillion in total plan assets, the most recent data available.