The rising price of stocks and bonds last year helped push pensions closer to full funding. But corporate and public plans remain well short of having enough money to pay out what they've promised to retirees.
The ratio of pension assets to liabilities, or funding ratio, for 131 state-sponsored defined benefit retirement systems was an estimated 80 percent as of June 30, up from 74 percent for the 2013 fiscal year, according to new data from Wilshire Consulting, the investment advisory business of Wilshire Associates. Put another way, 87 percent of the 92 state retirement systems that reported data for the 2014 fiscal year are underfunded.
"Global stock markets rallied strongly over the twelve months ended June 30, 2014, augmenting the positive performance of global fixed income and allowing pension asset growth to outdistance the growth in pension liabilities over fiscal 2014," Wilshire researcher Russ Walker said in a statement.