Pension funding levels have improved this year, in large part because of recent interest rate increases and strong equity market performance. Fitch Ratings, however, believes that severely underfunded plans could still face plenty of turbulence and uncertainty in the years ahead.

Fitch reviewed 224 non-financial U.S.-based companies with DB plans having U.S. projected benefit obligations of $100 million or more. Of those, 148 were less than 80 percent funded.

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