Milliman 100 Finished 2009 with Funding Deficit

January 19, 2010 ( – An end of the year rally was still not enough to keep the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index from an overall deficit for 2009.

In December, pensions experienced asset increases of $5 billion and liability decreases of $32 billion, resulting in a $37-billion increase in funding status – the second consecutive month of improvement after six months of declining funding status. However, overall, pension funding declined $31 billion during 2009, according to Milliman’s latest monthly update.

The funded ratio at the end of December stood at 77.7%, compared to 78.3% at the end of 2008.

Overall, the pension funding deficit grew from $269 billion at the close of 2008 to $300 billion by the end of the year. Much of this deficit was liability driven, Milliman said. The cumulative 2009 asset return was 13.21% compared to a 2009 pension benefit obligation (PBO) increase of 13.46%.

The Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index consists of 100 of the nation’s largest defined benefit pension plans.

The complete monthly update is here.