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Published: Wednesday, 12/3/2008

Pension funding plunges for 2nd month in row

NEW YORK Pension funding at some of the nation s biggest companies showed a second consecutive month of record losses as the slumping economy drove down the value of retirement-account assets, according to a new report.

Benefits consulting firm Mercer LLC said yesterday that aggregate funding at the approximately 800 firms in the Standard & Poor s 1,500 that still offer pension benefits fell by more than $130 billion in November. Those losses followed a $110 billion decline in October, the report said.

Hundreds of companies are urging Congress to loosen the tougher pension-funding rules signed into law in 2006, saying they cannot afford to meet the new guidelines amid the economic downturn.



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