US - Exactly one year after the largest corporate pension funds touted a 100% funded status, liabilities hit a record high while solvency levels swooped to 75% last month, according to data by Milliman.
Total assets of the defined benefit schemes in the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index totalled US$1.007trn at the end of August, while liabilities reached US$1.341trn. The August decline to 75%, from 75.4% the previous month, marks the fourth straight month of declines.
Milliman principal and consulting actuary John Ehrhardt said: "August was something of a milestone month. Not only did pension liabilities hit an all-time high for the second straight month, but it was one year ago exactly that pension funding last stood above 100%."
Over the past year, the cumulative return was -9.78%, Milliman said.
However, the companies expect an average rate of return of 8.1% for 2009.
"With an expected return of 8.1% and a discount rate of 5.34% for the balance of 2009, the funded status of the Milliman 100 pension plans is projected to slightly increase, with an expected pension deficit of $331bn and a funded ratio of 75.5% as of December 31. Asset returns of 28.5% for the rest of 2009 would result in a funded ratio of 80% and a projected deficit of $270bn at the end of the year," the firm said.
Mark Evans has been appointed as a director at Independent Trustee Services (ITS) to lead trustee appointments in London.
The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is consulting on changes to the actuarial assumptions it uses in valuations in a bid to better reflect the bulk annuity market, with schemes set to move into surplus on aggregate.
Private sector defined benefit (DB) schemes were 96.3% funded on a Pension Protection Fund (PPF) compensation basis at the end of July, according to the lifeboat fund's monthly index.
Conduent has completed the sale of its actuarial and human resource consulting business to private equity investor, H.I.G. Capital.