wrecking ball hitting man Global equities lost 13 percent in value in Q4, negating most of the largest pensions’ growth in funded ratios for the year. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Sponsors of the 20 largest corporate pension funds entered the fourth quarter in 2018 poised for a banner year, as strong equity markets, rising interest rates, and billions in discretionary cash contributions pushed the aggregate funding level to 90 percent, a level not seen in a decade.

But after positive returns in the first three quarters of 2018, the S&P 500 ended up down nearly 7 percent, the first time in history the index took a loss for a year in which it saw gains in the first three quarters. The S&P shed nearly 8 percent in December, the worst performance for the month since 1931.

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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.

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