The pension funded status of the nation's largest corporate sponsors increased by 16 percentage points to reach their highest levels since 2007, according to Towers Watson.

The company analyzed pension plan data for the 418 Fortune 1000 companies that sponsor U.S. tax-qualified defined benefit pension plans and have a December fiscal-year-end date. The aggregate pension funded status is estimated to be 93 percent at the end of 2013, a sharp jump from 77 percent at the end of 2012. That figure is still well below the 106 percent funded status logged at the end of 2007.

Overall, pension plan funding improved by $285 billion last year, leaving a deficit of $99 billion at the end of 2013.

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