The pension-funding deficit for 100 of the largest defined-benefit pension plans at U.S. companies, including Boeing Co. and AT&T Inc., increased 41 percent last year as low interest rates drove up liabilities.

The 100 largest plans posted a record shortfall of $326.8 billion for 2011, up from $232.1 billion a year earlier, according to a report by Milliman Inc., a Seattle-based actuarial and consulting company.

Pension-related charges to earnings rose to $38.3 billion, also a record, from $30.5 billion in 2010, according to the report, based on figures for the largest U.S. plans that reported 2011 data in 10K filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission by March 5. Contributions to pensions were $55.1 billion for the 100 companies tracked, according to the report.

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