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Falling discount rates since 2007 have had a major negative impact on pension plans at some of the largest companies in the United States.

A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that the median discount rate decreased 75 basis points from 2011 to 2012 and 225 basis points since 2007. That may not seem like much, but according to Pwc, a typical plan with a benefit obligation of $1 billion would increase its plan liability by $120 million because of the 75-basis-point decrease in the discount rate. The 225-basis-point drop from 2007 would increase plan liabilities by about $390 million.

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