The 20 largest corporate pensions collectively contributed $37.5 billion to plans in 2017, triple what they were required to contribute under the law, according to analysis from Russell Investments.

The collective contributions were the largest on record, as sponsors were motivated to maximize tax deductions before the lower corporate tax rate delivered under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act took affect.

Russell also cites increasing premiums to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. as a reason for the record contributions. Rising premiums have motivated higher discretionary contributions in the past, as sponsors aim to fund-up pensions to avoid higher variable premiums.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.