The federal agency that insures pensions for more than 40 million Americans last year ran the widest deficit in its 38-year history.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. says its deficit grew to $34 billion for the budget year that ended Sept. 30. That compares with a $26 billion shortfall in the previous year.

Pension obligations grew by $12 billion to $119 billion last year. Assets used to cover those obligations increased by only $4 billion to $85 billion.