Robust voluntarycontributions, made as sponsors sought to write them off againstthe previous corporate tax rate and before rising rates to thePension Benefit Guaranty Corp. variable premiums set in, maskedwhat would have an even worse fourth quarter for pensions. (Photo:Shutterstock)

The average funded status for corporate defined benefit retirement plans peaked at 91percent by the end of September last year, bolstered by strongyear-to-date gains in equity markets and a wave of employers'voluntary contributions in light of cuts to corporate taxrates.

That marked a 5 percent increase in plans' funded status fromthe end of 2017, a 10 percent increase since 2016, and the highestlevel of pension funding seen since the financialcrisis, according to a report from Goldman Sachs AssetManagement.

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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.