U.S. corporate pension plans generally experienced significant gains in funded status in the first quarter, driven by a sharp rise in Treasury rates and positive equity returns. Treasury yields steepened dramatically between the two- and 10-year points of the curve, while credit spreads stayed tight, leading to a decline in estimated liability values over the quarter. For this period, the funded status of a total-return plan increased 5.3% for March and 12.7% for the quarter, outperforming the LDI-focused plan which rose 2.2% last month and 4.3% for the quarter.

The funded status of the total-return plan skyrocketed as liabilities fell with rising rates and gains in risk assets during the quarter.

The LDI-focused plan saw an increase in funded status from declining liabilities and gains in risk assets. The plan is 87% hedged, as of March 31.

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