Pension funds at not-for-profit hospitals rated by Standard & Poor's ended 2011 higher than the prior year, thanks to investment gains and contributions, according to a preliminary analysis. Changes to pension plans to limit liabilities also contributed to the gain, Standard & Poor's said. The New York ratings agency released its fourth annual (registration required) snapshot of the sector's pension funds, which can add stress to credit ratings. The median pension plan was 78.6% funded for a sample of hospitals with fiscal years that ended through Sept. 30. That's compared with 71.7% for a sample of hospitals for all of 2010. The 2011 gain is nonetheless lower than 2008 and 2007, when the median pensions were 80.7% and 90% funded, respectively.
Pension funds stronger in 2011: S&P
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