(Toronto) Canadian defined-benefit pension plans continued to improve in the second quarter of 2023, human resources consulting firm Mercer said Tuesday.

And that improvement has come despite fears of the US debt ceiling and the lingering effects of banking crises south of the border.

Mercer noted that pension fund investment returns were mostly positive in the second quarter and that increases in bond yields helped reduce plan liabilities.

According to the company, the median solvency ratio of defined benefit pension plans in its database increased to 119% at the end of June.

The number of Canadians covered by a defined benefit pension plan was more than 4.4 million in 2020, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency noted that these types of plans have become less and less common in recent decades, with employers mostly opting for defined contribution plans.