November 04, 2011

Funded Status of U.S. Pensions Rises to 74.8 Percent in October, According to BNY Mellon


Stock Market Rally Lifts Asset Values

BOSTON, November 4, 2011 — Strong asset returns and no change in liabilities in October drove a 4.7 percentage-point increase in the funded status of the typical U.S. corporate pension plan, according to BNY Mellon Asset Management.  The increase, fueled by strong performances in the equity markets, brought the funded status for the typical plan to 74.8 percent.  

Year to date, the funded status has declined 10.3 percentage points, according to the BNY Mellon Pension Summary Report for October.

For the month of October, assets for the typical corporate plan increased 6.8 percent, according to BNY Mellon.  The rebound in equities reversed a three-month trend of falling stock values, the report said.

Plan liabilities are calculated using the yields of long-term investment grade corporate bonds.  As there was no material movement in these yields, the liabilities held steady.

"Apparent progress toward a solution to the European debt crisis resulted in investor optimism," said Jeffrey B. Saef, managing director, BNY Mellon Asset Management, and head of the Investment Strategy & Solutions Group.  "However, as the probability of a resolution rises and recedes, we see continuing market volatility."

Saef added that global events such as the European debt crisis and the U.S. budget negotiations have become important factors for pension funds as they make asset allocation decisions.   "If favorable outcomes can be achieved for these issues, it could set the stage for continuing the rally in equities that we saw in October. Such a rally would provide significant relief to the funding pressures that sponsors face."

BNY Mellon Asset Management is one of the world's leading asset management organizations, encompassing BNY Mellon's affiliated investment management firms and global distribution companies. Information about BNY Mellon Asset Management can be found at www.bnymellonam.com.

BNY Mellon is a global financial services company focused on helping clients manage and service their financial assets, operating in 36 countries and serving more than 100 markets. BNY Mellon is a leading provider of financial services for institutions, corporations and high-net-worth individuals, offering superior investment management and investment services through a worldwide client-focused team. It has $25.9 trillion in assets under custody and administration and $1.2 trillion in assets under management, services $11.9 trillion in outstanding debt and processes global payments averaging $1.6 trillion per day. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available at www.bnymellon.com and through Twitter @bnymellon.

All information source BNY Mellon Asset Management as of September 30, 2011. This press release is qualified for issuance in the US only and is for information purposes only. It does not constitute an offer or solicitation of securities or investment services or an endorsement thereof in any jurisdiction or in any circumstance in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful or not authorized. This press release is issued by BNY Mellon Asset Management to members of the financial press and media and the information contained herein should not be construed as investment advice.  Past performance is not a guide to future performance. A BNY Mellon Company(SM)