Milliman, Inc., a premier global consulting and actuarial firm, today released the results of its latest Pension Funding Index (PFI), which consists of 100 of the nation’s largest defined benefit pension plans. In April, these plans experienced a $21 billion increase in pension liabilities and a $6 billion increase in asset value, resulting in a $15 billion increase in the pension funded status deficit.

“We keep slipping further and further away from full funding,” said John Ehrhardt, co-author of the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index. “The historic improvement of 2013 has been countered by a $72 billion decrease in funded status so far in 2014, with rising interest rates driving much of the change.”

Looking forward, if the Milliman 100 pension plans were to achieve the expected 7.4% median asset return for their pension portfolios, and if the current discount rate of 4.20% were maintained, funded status would improve, with the funded status deficit shrinking to $228 billion(86.5% funded ratio) by the end of 2014 and to $175 billion (89.7% funded ratio) by the end of 2015.