SEATTLE, April 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Milliman, Inc., a premier global consulting and actuarial firm, today released the results of its latest Pension Funding Index, which consists of 100 of the nation's largest defined benefit pension plans. In March, these plans experienced no asset growth but did see liabilities decrease by $16 billion based on an increase in the discount rate.
"Last month's neutral asset performance illustrates the liability-driven nature of the corporate pension funding deficit," said John Ehrhardt, co-author of the Milliman Pension Funding Study. "These pensions saw a healthy increase brought on almost entirely by rising interest rates."
The pension funded status deficit sits at $172 billion, up from a record low of $446 billion in August. The reduction in this deficit has required both strong asset performance and lower pension liabilities.
Milliman is among the world's largest independent actuarial and consulting firms. Founded in Seattle in 1947 as Milliman & Robertson, the company currently has 54 offices in key locations worldwide. Milliman employs over 2,500 people. The firm has consulting practices in healthcare, employee benefits, property & casualty insurance, life insurance and financial services. Milliman serves the full spectrum of business, financial, government, union, education and nonprofit organizations. For further information, visit www.milliman.com
About the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index
For the past 11 years, Milliman has conducted an annual study of the 100 largest defined benefit pension plans sponsored by U.S. public companies. The Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index projects the funded status for pension plans included in our study, reflecting the monthly impact of market returns and interest-rate changes on pension funded status, utilizing the actual reported asset values, liabilities, and asset allocations of the companies' pension plans.
The results of the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index were based on the actual pension plan accounting information disclosed in the footnotes to the companies' annual reports for the preceding fiscal year and for previous fiscal years. In addition to providing the financial information on the funded status of U.S. qualified pension plans, the footnotes may also include figures for the companies' nonqualified and foreign plans, both of which are often unfunded or subject to funding standards different from those for U.S. qualified pension plans. The results do not represent the funded status of the companies' U.S. qualified pension plans under ERISA.
SOURCE Milliman, Inc.