Strong December Puts Plans in Positive Territory for 2012
NEW YORK, January 4, 2013 — Rising equity markets and falling liabilities in December combined to push the funded status of the typical U.S. corporate pension plan into positive territory in 2012, according to the BNY Mellon Investment Strategies & Solutions Group (ISSG).
For the month of December, the funded status for the typical plan increased 1.9 percentage points to 76.3 percent, according to the BNY Mellon Pension Summary Report for December 2012. For the year, the funded status was up 1.0 percentage point, the report said.
Assets for the typical plan in December rose 0.9 percent as equities markets climbed. Liabilities fell 1.7 percent as the Aa corporate discount rate rose 13 basis points to 3.89 percent, the report said
Plan liabilities are calculated using the yields of long-term investment grade bonds. Higher yields on these bonds result in lower liabilities.
"Plans benefited over the last six months as the discount rate has been slowly rising, leading to a decrease in liabilities," said Jeffrey B. Saef, managing director, BNY Mellon Investment Management, and head of the ISSG. "At the same time, equities held on to the gains achieved earlier in the year, leading to the positive performance for all of 2012."
The BNY Mellon Investment Strategy and Solutions Group is a division of The Bank of New York Mellon.
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