Rising interest rates and a soaring stock market have boosted the funded status of corporate pension plans to the highest point they have been since 2007.

"That was the last year when plan liabilities were decreasing — by about 3 percent [for Fortune 1000 companies with pension plans], and plan assets were increasing — 5.9 percent on average," said Kimberly Stockton, Vanguard Investment Strategy Group.

This year is shaping up to be even better. At the end of September, the S&P 500 returned 19.79 percent for the year and interest rates were continuing their climb that began in September 2012, she said.

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