A Towers Watson news release said the combined impact of the March changes in asset and liability values was a 4% increase in the index to 72.9 − a 1.8% improvement from its value of 71.6 at the start of the year.
The portfolio used for the index is 60% equity and 40% fixed income. Meanwhile, an 80%-equity portfolio posted a 5% return for the month, while the 40%-equity portfolio came in at 2.5%. The company said a benchmark discount rate was determined at 5.88% − representing a 7 basis point increase for the month.
The company’s liability index (based on projected benefit obligations) decreased 0.3% for March, reflecting the offsetting effects of interest accumulation and the increase in the discount rate.
Equities provided very strong returns while long corporate bond yields increased slightly in March. Long bond yields moved up in March, with the largest increases on Treasury bonds.
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