Pension Funded Status Reaches 2012 High

February 5, 2013 ( – At 81.2% in January, U.S. corporate pension plans saw their best funded level since March 2012, BNY Mellon reports.

According to the BNY Mellon Investment Strategy and Solutions Group (ISSG), the 4.9 percentage point increase was caused by rising equities markets, which raised asset levels, and higher interest rates, which reduced liabilities.

Assets for the typical plan increased 3.0% in January, and equities markets rose more than 5.0% in the U.S. and international developed markets, according to the BNY Mellon Pension Summary Report for January 2013. Liabilities fell 3.2% as the Aa corporate discount rate rose 24 basis points to 4.13%. 

“This is a great start for the year for corporate pension plans in the U.S., and we’ve now had three months in a row of steady improvement in funded status,” said Jeffrey B. Saef, managing director of BNY Mellon Investment Management and head of the ISSG. 


Sara Kelly