US - Market volatility has wiped $110bn (€74bn) off the value of pension funds since the beginning of the year, according to Mercer.
Jonathan Barry, spokesman for the Mercer Financial Strategy Group, said: "We saw a general improvement in the funded status of pension plans in 2007, which, for a typical US pension plan, resulted in a decrease in liabilities of 2% to 8%.
"For many if not most plan sponsors, any improvement due to market conditions in 2007 has been more than wiped out in the past few weeks, as equity markets have declined significantly. Certainly, all indications are pointing to lower corporate bond yields - and higher pension liabilities - in the near-term."
However, it also warned funds should take into consideration the need for contingency planning, with risk as top a priority.
On a longer term outlook, the company warned that funding levels would have to increase should equity markets stabilise at a lower level, combined with a lower corporate bond yields.
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