Milliman’s Pension Funding Index showed that the 100 large defined benefit pension plans it tracks increased their pension deficit by $236.4 billion in 2011, as corporate pensions faced record underfunding.

In December alone, these pensions experienced a $59.7 billion decrease in pension funded status. The funded status decline for the month of December was primarily due to higher liabilities based on a decrease in corporate bond interest rates that are the benchmarks used to value pension liabilities. The funded status decline was partially offset by positive investment performance during December.

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