The funded-status ratio for pension funds at companies in the S&P 1500 was 79% in August, down from 83% in July, Mercer reports. The companies' aggregate funded status fell about $70 billion, hitting a deficit of $378 billion, as a result of declining stock prices and corporate-bond yields. More companies are taking steps such as freezing pension plans and changing asset allocations in order to protect against volatility.

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