The 100 largest US corporate pension plans were once again defined by record-low discount rates, which led to record-high pension obligations and a $388.8 billion pension funding deficit—a $61.1 billion deficit increase in 2012, according to Milliman, Inc. The global consulting and actuarial firm Monday released the results of its 2013 Pension Funding Study, which analyzes. these large plans.

Since the end of 2010, declining interest rates have widened the pension funding deficit by more than $150 billion, driving record deficits in each of the last two years. The pension funding ratio stood at 77.2% at year’s end, down from 79.2% at the end of 2011. The deficit increase and reduced funding ratio in 2012 happened in spite of efforts by certain plan sponsors to de-risk their pension plans.

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