PENSION CRISIS: Corporate pension plans improving

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The estimated aggregate funded ratio among S&P 1500 companies' pension plans was 72 percent, with an aggregate deficit of $631 billion, as of Aug. 31, according to New York City-based Mercer, a financial services consulting firm.

August was an improvement from July, when the deficit was $689 billion — the funded ratio at a record low of 70 percent.

The combination of U.S. equity markets rising more than 2 percent in August and discount rates rising between 12 and 14 basis points helped spur the rebound, according to the Mercer report.

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