U.S. corporate pension plans saw their funded status slip inOctober, with the aggregate shortfall of plans operated by S&P1500 companies growing by $26 billion, to $619 billion, HRconsultancy Mercer estimates. The erosion in defined-benefitretirement plans' funded status reflects both a 2% decline inequity markets last month and a decrease of 6 basis points indiscount rates, which are used to calculate plan liabilities.


Mercer notesthat the October decline reversed a modest gain in plans' fundingin September. The aggregate funded ratio at the end of October was72%, down from 73% at the end of September, but up from the recordlow of 70% at the end of July.


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