A Milliman report said the asset gains were coupled with liability decreases of roughly $18 billion, resulting in a net funding status improvement of $48 billion. Milliman noted this is the first gain in funding status since July 2008.
As of March 31, 2009, the funding ratio of the Index was 77.7%, just behind the 78.2% reported at the end of 2008, and down from 100.6% a year ago, according to the report.
Milliman said the projected benefit obligation (PBO), or liability, decrease is attributable to the rise in the monthly discount rate from 6.76% in February to 7% in March. The monthly asset return for the Index was approximately 3.83%.
With an expected return of 8.1% and a discount rate of 7% for the remainder of 2009, Milliman expects the funded status of plans in the Index to decrease.
The Milliman report is here .
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