Two reports indicate that pension funding levels have decreased, with S&P 1500 companies falling by 3 percent as of the end of January and U.S. institutional pension fund assets overall coming in at $21.7 trillion at year-end 2015 (compared with 2014's $22.1 trillion).

The drop in S&P 1500 companies' estimated aggregate funding levels was reported by consulting firm Mercer, which said that negative equity markets and a decrease in rates caused the 3 percent drop to a level of 79 percent.

As of January 31, the report said, , the estimated aggregate deficit of $472 billion increased by $68 billion as compared to the $404 billion deficit measured at the end of 2015.

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