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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM N-CSR

 

 

CERTIFIED SHAREHOLDER REPORT OF REGISTERED

MANAGEMENT INVESTMENT COMPANIES

Investment Company Act file number: 811-21507

 

 

Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund

(Exact name of registrant as specified in charter)

 

 

525 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94105

(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip code)

 

 

Matthew Prasse

Allspring Funds Management, LLC

525 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94105

(Name and address of agent for service)

 

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: 800-222-8222

Date of fiscal year end: August 31

Date of reporting period: August 31, 2022

 

 

 


ITEM 1. REPORT TO STOCKHOLDERS


Annual Report
August 31, 2022
Allspring
Utilities and High Income Fund (ERH)


Managed Distribution Plan
Pursuant to an exemptive order issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Order”), the Fund is authorized to distribute long-term capital gains to shareholders more frequently than once per year. Pursuant to the Order, the Fund’s Board of Trustees approved a Managed Distribution Plan (“MDP”) for the Fund pursuant to which the Fund makes monthly cash distributions to common shareholders, stated in terms of a fixed amount per common share.
The Fund’s Board has adopted a managed distribution plan for the Fund at an annual minimum fixed rate of 7% based on the Fund’s average monthly NAV per share over the prior 12 months. The Fund makes distributions monthly. You should not draw any conclusions about the Fund’s investment performance from the amount of these distributions or from the terms of the MDP. The MDP will be subject to regular periodic review by the Board and the Board may amend or terminate the MDP at any time without prior notice to Fund shareholders. However, at this time there are no reasonably foreseeable circumstances that might cause the termination of the MDP.
The Fund may distribute more than its income and net realized capital gains and, therefore, a portion of your distribution may be a return of capital. A return of capital may occur, for example, when some or all of the money that you invested in the Fund is paid back to you. A return of capital distribution does not necessarily reflect the Fund’s investment performance and should not be confused with ‘yield’ or ‘income’.
With each distribution, the Fund will issue a notice to shareholders and a press release containing information about the amount and sources of the distribution and other related information. The amounts and sources of distributions reported in the notice and press release are only estimates and are not provided for tax reporting purposes. The actual amounts and sources of the amounts for tax reporting purposes will depend upon the Fund’s investment experience during its fiscal year and may be subject to changes based on tax regulations. The Fund will send you a Form 1099-DIV for the calendar year that
will tell you how to report these distributions for federal income tax purposes.


Contents
The views expressed and any forward-looking statements are as of August 31, 2022, unless otherwise noted, and are those of the Fund's portfolio managers and/or Allspring Global Investments. Discussions of individual securities or the markets generally are not intended as individual recommendations. Future events or results may vary significantly from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. The views expressed are subject to change at any time in response to changing circumstances in the market. Allspring Global Investments disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise any views expressed or forward-looking statements.

Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund  |  1


Letter to shareholders (unaudited)
Andrew Owen
President
Allspring Funds
Dear Shareholder:
We are pleased to offer you this annual report for the Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund for the 12-month period that ended August 31, 2022. Globally, stocks and bonds experienced heightened volatility through the period. Non-U.S. securities fared the worst as the global economy faced multiple challenges. Bonds had historically poor performance during a difficult period, with major fixed income indexes all falling substantially for the 12-month period. The performance of non-U.S. investments was worsened by the strong U.S. dollar.
Earlier tailwinds provided by global stimulus programs, vaccination rollouts, and recovering consumer and corporate sentiment were wiped away by the highest rate of inflation in four decades, the impact of aggressive central bank rate hikes, more highly contagious COVID-19 variants, and the Russia-Ukraine war. The already-significant global supply-chain disruptions were compounded by China’s COVID-19 lockdowns.
For the 12-month period, both stocks and bonds registered significant losses, with U.S. large-cap stocks faring better overall than non-U.S. developed market equities and emerging market stocks. Fixed income securities were also deeply in the red, in a period of high inflation and sharply rising interest rates. For the period, U.S. stocks, based on the S&P 500 Index,1 lost 11.23%. International stocks, as measured by the MSCI ACWI ex USA Index (Net),2 returned -19.52%, while the MSCI EM Index (Net) (USD),3 had weaker performance with a decline of 21.80%. Among bond indexes, the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index4  returned -11.52%, the Bloomberg Global Aggregate ex-USD Index (unhedged)5 tumbled 22.05%, and the Bloomberg Municipal Bond Index6 declined 8.63%, and the ICE BofA U.S. High Yield Index7 fell 10.41%.
Rising inflation, COVID, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February drove market performance.
Global financial assets, except for commodities, began the period with a broad retreat in September 2021, as concerns over inflation and the interest rate outlook depressed investor confidence. Emerging markets declined on concerns over supply-chain disruptions along with rising energy and food prices. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve (Fed) indicated it would soon start to slow the pace of asset purchases. U.S. concerns included a congressional debt ceiling showdown, the 2022 federal government budget, and the infrastructure package. Meanwhile, commodities thrived in September, driven by sharply higher energy prices.
Global financial assets, except for commodities, began the period with a broad retreat in September 2021, as concerns over inflation and the interest rate outlook depressed investor confidence.

1 The S&P 500 Index consists of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity, and industry group representation. It is a market-value-weighted index with each stock's weight in the index proportionate to its market value. You cannot invest directly in an index.
2 The Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) All Country World Index (ACWI) ex USA Index (Net) is a free-float-adjusted market-capitalization-weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed and emerging markets, excluding the U.S. Source: MSCI. MSCI makes no express or implied warranties or representations and shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to any MSCI data contained herein. The MSCI data may not be further redistributed or used as a basis for other indices or any securities or financial products. This report is not approved, reviewed, or produced by MSCI. You cannot invest directly in an index.
3 The MSCI Emerging Markets (EM) Index (Net) (USD) is a free-float-adjusted market-capitalization-weighted index that is designed to measure equity market performance of emerging markets. You cannot invest directly in an index.
4 The Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is a broad-based benchmark that measures the investment-grade, U.S.-dollar-denominated, fixed-rate taxable bond market, including Treasuries, government-related and corporate securities, mortgage-backed securities (agency fixed-rate and hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage pass-throughs), asset-backed securities, and commercial mortgage-backed securities. You cannot invest directly in an index.
5 The Bloomberg Global Aggregate ex-USD Index (unhedged) is an unmanaged index that provides a broad-based measure of the global investment-grade fixed-income markets excluding the U.S.-dollar-denominated debt market. You cannot invest directly in an index.
6 The Bloomberg Municipal Bond Index is an unmanaged index composed of long-term tax-exempt bonds with a minimum credit rating of Baa. You cannot invest directly in an index.
7 The ICE BofA U.S. High Yield Index is a market-capitalization-weighted index of domestic and Yankee high-yield bonds. The index tracks the performance of high-yield securities traded in the U.S. bond market. You cannot invest directly in an index. Copyright 2022. ICE Data Indices, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Letter to shareholders (unaudited)
Elevated inflation pressures and the global supply bottleneck continued in October, but strong earnings provided a bright spot in the U.S., the eurozone, and many Asian countries. Government bond yields rose globally as central banks prepared to tighten monetary policy. Commodity prices continued to rise.
In November, as COVID-19 hospitalizations rose, most major global asset classes declined. Two exceptions were U.S. investment-grade bonds and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities. President Biden signed a long-awaited infrastructure bill to upgrade U.S. roads, bridges, and railways. Meanwhile, the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI),1 a measure of domestic inflation conditions, jumped to its highest level in 31 years. While the threat of consistently high inflation led the Fed to discuss a faster pace of tapering, the Omicron strain created uncertainty. Commodities lost ground for the month, driven by sharp declines in oil prices (and energy costs in general) as well as precious metals.
Global volatility lessened in December as data indicated a lower risk of severe disease and death from the Omicron variant. Even so, several countries introduced restrictions on travel and hospitality, among other sectors, in an effort to reduce the spread. In the U.S., data indicated a stable economy overall, with robust corporate earnings. Consumer spending potential looked strong heading into 2022 on elevated household savings and the lowest household debt ratio since 1973. U.S. corporate and high-yield bonds had monthly gains while Treasuries declined. Bonds were adversely affected by the increased likelihood of multiple rate hikes in 2022.
In January 2022, the main focus was on potential U.S. interest rate hikes and the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The Fed hinted that a March interest rate hike was likely. Meanwhile, Russia threatened a potential invasion of Ukraine, which could disrupt Russia’s massive energy supplies and drive demand from non-Russian oil-producing countries. Elsewhere overseas, Europe saw food and energy prices spike, leading to rising inflation. Within fixed income, corporate bonds struggled in January, underperforming government bonds, as investors focused on continued elevated inflation and ongoing uncertainty over the U.S. monetary path.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine dominated the financial world in February and March. Equity, bond, and commodities markets were shaken by fear, uncertainty, and an upending of demand-supply dynamics. Major global stock indexes were down in February, along with global bonds overall, with ongoing high levels of volatility in March along with mixed results that favored U.S. large-cap stocks. Prices of commodities spiked, including crude oil, natural gas, wheat, and precious metals, on elevated concerns of supply shortages. All of this fed already-high inflation concerns and added to expectations of more aggressive central bank interest rate hikes. Sweeping sanctions against Russia and corporate pullouts contributed to market volatility. Despite the geopolitical turmoil, the U.S. economic outlook remained largely unchanged, with a healthy job market and signs of economic resilience accompanying higher prices.
In April, market volatility continued, with deepening losses across major capital markets, as both the S&P 500 and MSCI ACWI (Net)2 fell 8% or more for the month. The Chinese economy struggled through a strict lockdown as the government tried to contain a major COVID-19 outbreak, creating a global ripple effect that compounded existing supply shortages. This was exacerbated by the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on global commodities. Meanwhile, U.S. annual inflation raged at 8.5%, its highest level since 1981, and investors braced themselves for aggressive Fed monetary tightening moves.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine dominated the financial world in February and March. Equity, bond, and commodities markets were shaken by fear, uncertainty, and an upending of demand-supply dynamics.

1 The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services. You cannot invest directly in an index.
2 The MSCI ACWI (Net) is a free-float-adjusted market-capitalization-weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed and emerging markets. You cannot invest directly in an index.

Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund  |  3


Letter to shareholders (unaudited)
Market volatility continued in May, although stocks recovered ground late in the month. Value stocks continued to outperform growth stocks. The concerns that had dominated markets for months continued, including high inflation and geopolitical tensions that exacerbated high crude oil, gasoline, and food prices. In response, the Fed raised the federal funds rate by 0.50%, with widescale expectations of multiple rate hikes to come. Meanwhile, highly contagious COVID-19 variants persisted. However, labor markets in the U.S., the U.K., and Europe remained strong. The U.S. recorded a 3.6% unemployment rate, although labor market participation remained low. U.S. retail sales for April, released in May, indicated a fourth consecutive monthly increase, reflecting continued consumer resilience.
A historically bad year in the financial markets continued in June with stocks posting further losses en route to their worst first half of a year in 50 years. Bonds didn’t fare much better. Driving the losses were the same factors that have been at play: rising global inflation and fears of recession as central banks increase rates to try to curb inflation, which climbed above 9% in June in the U.S. The Fed raised its short-term rate by another 0.75% in June. Meanwhile, U.S. economic data remained relatively robust as the U.S. unemployment rate held firm at 3.6% and the housing market was only marginally affected, so far, by sharply higher mortgage rates.
Markets rebounded in July, led by U.S. stocks. While evidence began to point to an economic slowdown, and possibly a recession after two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, the U.S. labor market remained surprisingly strong: July nonfarm payrolls grew by more than 500,000 and U.S. unemployment dipped to 3.5%. Meanwhile, crude oil and retail gasoline prices—major contributors to recent overall inflation—fell substantially from earlier highs. And while U.S. housing market data indicated a continued rise in home prices, home sales fell as houses became less affordable with mortgage rates at a 13-year high. The Fed raised the federal funds rate another 0.75% in July—to a range of 2.25% to 2.50%—and forecasts pointed to continued rate increases.
August was yet another broadly challenging month for financial markets, with more red ink flowing. Inflation persisted at historically high levels, cresting 9% in the eurozone on an annual basis and remaining above 8% in the United States despite the Fed’s earnestly aggressive monetary policy and a major drop in global crude oil and gasoline prices from their June peak. The hint of a silver lining in the U.S.—and a questionable one—was the continued resilience of the country’s jobs market. However, the dark edge to even that silver lining was the increased likelihood of further Fed rate hikes: The Fed’s job was clearly not complete. One longer-term bright spot was the U.S. Congress’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. Its primary stated goals include: to reduce inflation (though not immediately) by curbing the deficit, capping health care spending by seniors, and investing in domestic sources of clean energy.

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Letter to shareholders (unaudited)
Don’t let short-term uncertainty derail long-term investment goals.
Periods of investment uncertainty can present challenges, but experience has taught us that maintaining long-term investment goals can be an effective way to plan for the future. Although diversification cannot guarantee an investment profit or prevent losses, we believe it can be an effective way to manage investment risk and potentially smooth out overall portfolio performance. We encourage investors to know their investments and to understand that appropriate levels of risk-taking may unlock opportunities.
Thank you for choosing to invest with Allspring Funds. We appreciate your confidence in us and remain committed to helping you meet your financial needs.
Sincerely,
Andrew Owen
President
Allspring Funds
Notice to Shareholders
On November 12, 2021, the Fund announced a renewal of its open-market share repurchase program (the “Buyback Program”). Under the renewed Buyback Program, the Fund may repurchase up to 10% of its outstanding shares in open market transactions during the period beginning on January 1, 2022 and ending on December 31, 2022. The Fund’s Board of Trustees has delegated to Allspring Funds Management, LLC, the Fund’s adviser, discretion to administer the Buyback Program, including the determination of the amount and timing of repurchases in accordance with the best interests of the Fund and subject to applicable legal limitations.

For further information about your fund, contact your investment professional, visit our website at allspringglobal.com, or call us directly at 1-800-222-8222.

Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund  |  5


Performance highlights (unaudited)
Investment objective The Fund seeks a high level of current income and moderate capital growth, with an emphasis on providing tax-advantaged dividend income.
Strategy summary The Fund allocates its assets between two separate investment strategies, or sleeves. Under normal market conditions, the Fund will allocate approximately 70% of its total assets to a sleeve that places a focus on common, preferred and convertible preferred stocks of utility companies and approximately 30% of its total assets to a sleeve of U.S. dollar denominated below investment grade (high yield) debt.
Adviser Allspring Funds Management, LLC
Subadviser Allspring Global Investments, LLC
Portfolio managers Chris Lee , CFA®, Kent Newcomb, CFA®, Michael J. Schueller, CFA®, Jack Spudich, CFA®
    
Average annual total returns (%) as of August 31, 20221
  1 year 5 year 10 year
Based on market value -10.17 5.66 7.81
Based on net asset value (NAV) 4.02 6.42 8.48
ERH Blended Index2 4.85 7.76 9.40
ICE BofA U.S. High Yield Constrained Index3 -10.42 2.41 4.43
S&P 500 Utilities Index4 11.72 9.83 11.31
Figures quoted represent past performance, which is no guarantee of future results, and do not reflect taxes that a shareholder may pay on an investment in a fund. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted, which assumes the reinvestment of dividends and capital gains. Performance figures of the Fund do not reflect brokerage commissions that a shareholder would pay on the purchase and sale of shares. If taxes and such brokerage commissions had been reflected, performance would have been lower. To obtain performance information current to the most recent month-end, please call 1-800-222-8222.
The Fund’s expense ratio for the year ended August 31, 2022, was 1.25% which includes 0.32% of interest expense.
1 Total returns based on market value are calculated assuming a purchase of common stock on the first day and a sale on the last day of the period reported. Total returns based on NAV are calculated based on the NAV at the beginning of the period and at the end of the period. Dividends and distributions, if any, are assumed for the purposes of these calculations to be reinvested at prices obtained under the Fund’s Automatic Dividend Reinvestment Plan.
2 Source: Allspring Funds Management, LLC. The ERH Blended Index is weighted 70% in the S&P 500 Utilities Index and 30% in the ICE BofA U.S. High Yield Constrained Index. Effective October 15, 2019, the ERH Blended Index changed the high yield component of the index from the ICE BofA U.S. High Yield Index with the ICE BofA U.S. High Yield Constrained Index in order to better match the Fund’s investment strategy. You cannot invest directly in an index.
3 The ICE BofA U.S. High Yield Constrained Index is a market value-weighted index of all domestic and Yankee high-yield bonds, including deferred interest bonds and payment-in kind securities. Issues included in the index have maturities of one year or more and have a credit rating lower than BBB–/Baa3, but are not in default. The ICE BofA U.S. High Yield Constrained Index limits any individual issuer to a maximum of 2% benchmark exposure. You cannot invest directly in an index. Copyright 2022. ICE Data Indices, LLC. All rights reserved.
4 The S&P 500 Utilities Index is a market-value-weighted index that measures the performance of all stocks within the utilities sector of the S&P 500 Index. You cannot invest directly in an index.
    

CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are trademarks owned by CFA Institute.

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Performance highlights (unaudited)
Growth of $10,000 investment as of August 31, 20221
1 The chart compares the performance of the Fund for the most recent ten years with the ERH Blended Index, ICE BofA U.S. High Yield Constrained Index and S&P 500 Utilities Index. The chart assumes a hypothetical investment of $10,000 investment and reflects all operating expenses of the Fund.
    
Comparison of NAV vs. market value1
1 This chart does not reflect any brokerage commissions charged on the purchase and sale of the Fund’s common stock. Dividends and distributions paid by the Fund are included in the Fund’s average annual total returns but have the effect of reducing the Fund’s NAV.
Risk summary
This closed-end fund is no longer available as an initial public offering and is only offered through broker-dealers on the secondary market. A closed-end fund is not required to buy its shares back from investors upon request. Shares of the Fund may trade at either a premium or discount relative to the Fund’s net asset value, and there can be no assurance that any discount will decrease. The values of, and/or the income generated by, securities held by the Fund may decline due to general market conditions or other factors, including those directly involving the issuers of such securities. Equity securities fluctuate in value in response to factors specific to the issuer of the security. Debt securities are subject to credit risk and interest rate risk, and high yield securities and unrated securities of similar credit quality have a much greater risk of default and their values tend to be more volatile than higher-rated securities with similar maturities. Funds that concentrate their investments in a single industry or sector may face increased risk of price fluctuation due to adverse developments within that industry or sector. The Fund is also subject to risks associated with any concentration of its investments in the utility sector. The Fund is leveraged through a revolving credit facility and also may incur leverage by issuing preferred shares in the future. The use of leverage results in certain risks, including, among others, the likelihood of greater volatility of net asset value and the market price of common shares. Foreign investments may contain more risk due to the inherent risks associated with changing political climates, foreign market instability, and foreign currency fluctuations. Derivatives involve additional risks, including interest rate risk, credit risk, the risk of improper valuation, and the risk of noncorrelation to the relevant instruments they are designed to hedge or closely track.

Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund  |  7


Performance highlights (unaudited)
More detailed information about the Fund’s investment objective, principal investment strategies and the principal risks associated with investing in the Fund can be found on page 11.

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Performance highlights (unaudited)
MANAGER'S DISCUSSION
Overview
The Fund’s return based on market value was -10.17% for the 12-month period that ended August 31, 2022. During the same period, the Fund’s return based on net asset value (NAV) was 4.02%. Based on its market value and NAV return, the Fund underperformed the ERH Blended Index, which returned 4.85%.
Equity sleeve: A strong year for utilities
Utility stocks outperformed the S& P 500 Index by approximately 23% for the period, with a gain of 11.72%. The Fund’s equity sleeve trailed the S&P 500 Utilities Index by less than 0.5%. The broader market turned sharply lower in January on concerns that U.S. inflation rates not seen in decades would prompt the Federal Reserve (Fed) to raise interest rates, which would likely slow the economy. The managers believe utilities’ healthy fundamentals, attractive relative valuation, and defensive nature led to strong relative performance.
During the period, the Fund managers added a new position in Evergy, Inc., a regulated utility with what they believe are improving growth prospects, driven by plans to produce more power from renewable sources. They also added to CenterPoint Energy, Inc., as new management moved quickly to sell non-core assets, improve the balance sheet, and position the company for expected faster growth in its core utilities.
The Fund benefited from overweight positions in several utilities that outperformed the S&P 500 Utilities Index, including Exelon Corporation. Exelon saw its valuation improve with the spin-off of its unregulated power generation subsidiary.
Not owning Consolidated Edison, Inc., which outperformed the index, detracted from performance. Consolidated Edison operates in the State of New York, and because the managers view New York as a less desireable market from a regulatory standpoint, the Fund does not hold this issuer during the period. 
High-yield sleeve: Portfolio changes were made to improve quality
We have spent much of 2022 positioning for a higher probability of recession by rotating into shorter, higher-quality bonds. We have increased the portfolio’s allocation to BB-rated bonds and decreased its allocation to CCC-rated bonds. The portfolio maintained its overweight to energy as tight supply continues to help producers generate cash, de-lever balance sheets, and improve credit ratings. We reduced our overweight to the air transportation sector and increased our overweight to the consumer and commercial finance sector. 
Ten largest holdings (%) as of August 31, 20221
NextEra Energy Incorporated 15.01
Dominion Energy Incorporated 5.58
Duke Energy Corporation 5.31
Sempra Energy 5.27
American Electric Power Company Incorporated 4.99
The Southern Company 4.66
Xcel Energy Incorporated 4.40
Exelon Corporation 4.01
DTE Energy Company 3.37
CMS Energy Corporation 3.34
1 Figures represent the percentage of the Fund's net assets. Holdings are subject to change and may have changed since the date specified.
The main detractors from the performance of the high-yield sleeve came from the air leasing and pharmaceutical sectors. The international air travel recovery has lagged North America’s, dampening international aircraft utilization rates. The underperformance of the pharmaceutical credit, Bausch Health, resulted from the proposed spinout of a lucrative business and a patent invalidation lawsuit that threatens its best-performing drug. 
Sector allocation as of August 31, 20221
1 Figures represent the percentage of the Fund's long-term investments. Allocations are subject to change and may have changed since the date specified.
 

Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund  |  9


Performance highlights (unaudited)
Top-performing high-yield bond contributors included debt investments in the pharmaceutical and oil and gas sectors. The investments in the pharmaceutical sector benefited from the settlement of opioid liabilities. Strong price realization and debt repayment drove the positive performance of a debt issued by an oil and gas company holding.
Leverage impact
The Fund's use of leverage had a negative impact on total return performance during this reporting period.
Credit quality as of August 31, 20221
1 The credit quality distribution of portfolio holdings reflected in the chart is based on ratings from Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service, and/or Fitch Ratings Ltd. Credit quality ratings apply to the underlying holdings of the Fund and not to the Fund itself. The percentages of the portfolio with the ratings depicted in the chart are calculated based on the market value of fixed income securities held by the Fund. If a security was rated by all three rating agencies, the middle rating was utilized. If rated by two of the three rating agencies, the lower rating was utilized, and if rated by one of the rating agencies, that rating was utilized. Standard & Poor’s rates the creditworthiness of bonds, ranging from AAA (highest) to D (lowest). Ratings from A to CCC may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the rating categories. Standard & Poor’s rates the creditworthiness of short-term notes from SP-1 (highest) to SP-3 (lowest). Moody’s rates the creditworthiness of bonds, ranging from Aaa (highest) to C (lowest). Ratings Aa to B may be modified by the addition of a number 1 (highest) to 3 (lowest) to show relative standing within the ratings categories. Moody’s rates the creditworthiness of short-term U.S. tax-exempt municipal securities from MIG 1/VMIG 1 (highest) to SG (lowest). Fitch rates the creditworthiness of bonds, ranging from AAA (highest) to D (lowest). Credit quality distribution is subject to change and may have changed since the date specified.
Outlook: Potential for moderate growth despite inflationary pressures
Relative to the S&P 500 Index, utilities stocks currently trade above long-term average valuation levels. Fundamentally, the managers continue to see a clear path for moderate yet consistent growth in utility stock earnings and dividends. This, combined with what the managers believe are attractive absolute dividend yields, could provide investors with solid total return potential and below-average volatility, particularly if economic growth slows in response to Fed rate hikes. Challenges to the sector include the potential for inflation to pressure customer bills. Higher bills could limit utilities’ ability to pass along capital costs to customers and limit plans for capital spending, which are currently robust. Investor rotation back into more cyclical and/or higher growth stocks could also affect utility stock performance.
With high-yield credit option-adjusted spreads (OAS) at 505 basis points (bps; 100 bps equals 1.00%), valuations are in a precarious position, with little cushion to absorb the rise in defaults that typically coincides with recession. Leading economic indicators are declining, the war in Ukraine is ongoing, and labor costs are increasing. U.S. gross domestic product growth expectations continue to decline, with the latest forecast of 1.7% for fiscal-year 2022, down from a forecast of 4% at the start of the calendar year. Inflation remains in focus with the Fed forgoing employment and growth concerns to fully focus on “restoring price stability.” Despite macroeconomic challenges, credit fundamentals remain mostly intact with adequate cash flows and few defaults, and the past year’s volatility has created opportunities for security selection.
Geographic allocation as of August 31, 20221
1 Figures represent the percentage of the Fund's long-term investments. Allocations are subject to change and may have changed since the date specified.
 

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Objective, strategies and risks (unaudited)
Investment objective
The Fund seeks a high level of current income and moderate capital growth, with an emphasis on providing tax-advantaged dividend income. The Fund’s investment objective is a fundamental policy and may not be changed without the approval of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund.
Principal investment strategies
The Fund allocates its assets between two separate investment strategies, or sleeves.
Equity sleeve.Under normal market conditions, the Fund allocates approximately 70% of its total assets to an investment strategy that focuses on common, preferred and convertible preferred stocks of utility companies (“equity sleeve”).  Utility companies may include, for example, companies that provide basic services such as water, sewage, and the transmission, generation and distribution of electricity and transmission and distribution of natural gas.  The Fund may invest this portion of assets in companies across all market capitalizations. 
We focus on dividend-paying companies that we expect to pay and increase dividends consistently. Our process applies a rigorous analytical methodology to all of our investment decisions, which might include the following analyses of a company and its stock: cash flow analysis, debt levels, discipline of company management, relative and absolute valuation levels and dividend yield. In selecting companies, we begin with a screen of a broad universe of equity securities that looks first, but not exclusively, at dividend yield, dividend growth potential, and market capitalization. In addition, a review of company fundamentals, such as valuation, earnings growth, and financial condition, helps the portfolio managers focus on companies with dividends that appear reasonably sustainable with potential for moderate dividend growth.
We regularly review the investments of the equity sleeve and may sell a holding when there is deterioration in the underlying fundamentals of the business, dividend growth is no longer expected or there is the possibility of a dividend cut, the stock price reflects full or overvaluation, it has achieved its valuation target or we have identified a more attractive investment opportunity.
Material Changes During the Fiscal Year: There were no material changes to the equity sleeve during the fiscal year.
High Yield Bond Sleeve. Under normal market conditions, the Fund allocates approximately 30% of its total assets to an investment strategy that focuses on U.S. dollar-denominated below investment-grade bonds, debentures, and other income obligations (often called “high yield” securities or “junk bonds”). We may invest in below investment-grade debt securities of any credit quality. This portion of the Fund invests in high yield securities rated between and including B3 and Ba1 by Moody’s or B- and BB+ by S&P or, if unrated, that are deemed by us to be of comparable quality at the time of purchase. This portion of the Fund’s portfolio targets securities with a minimum rating of B to BB at the time of purchase and attempts to maintain a weighted average credit quality with respect to the high yield securities of B to BB. This portion of the Fund will not purchase high yield securities with a rating of CCC or below, although the Fund may hold such securities as a result of a downgrade in ratings subsequent to their purchase. No more than 10% of this portion of the Fund’s assets may be invested in securities that are rated CCC or below or are unrated.
Securities in the Fund’s high yield bond sleeve may be issued by domestic or foreign issuers (including foreign governments), and may include securities of emerging market issuers. The Fund may invest in non-investment-grade securities of any credit quality at the time of purchase.
For purposes of the Fund’s credit quality policies, if a security receives different ratings from nationally recognized securities rating organizations, the Fund will use the rating chosen by the portfolio managers as most representative of the security’s credit quality. The Fund’s high yield securities may have fixed or variable principal payments and all types of interest rate and dividend payment and reset terms, including fixed rate, adjustable rate, contingent, deferred, payment in kind and auction rate features. The Fund’s weighted average duration range for high yield U.S. debt securities is six years or less.
The Fund’s high yield sleeve is managed following a rigorous investment process that emphasizes both quality and value. The research driven approach includes both a top-down review of macroeconomic factors and intensive, bottom-up scrutiny of individual securities. We consider both broad economic and issuer specific factors in selecting the high yield portfolio. In assessing the appropriate maturity and duration for the Fund’s high yield sleeve and the credit quality parameters and weighting objectives for each sector and industry in this portion of the Fund’s portfolio, we consider a variety of factors that are expected to influence the economic environment and the dynamics of the high yield market. These factors include fundamental economic indicators, such as interest rate trends, the rates of economic growth and inflation, the performance of equity markets, commodities prices, Federal Reserve monetary policy and the relative value of the U.S. dollar compared to other currencies. Once we determine the preferable portfolio characteristics, we conduct further evaluation to determine capacity and inventory levels in each targeted industry. We also identify any circumstances that may lead to improved business

Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund  |  11


Objective, strategies and risks (unaudited)
conditions, thus increasing the attractiveness of a particular industry. We select individual securities based upon the terms of the securities (such as yields compared to U.S. Treasuries or comparable issues), liquidity, rating, sector and issuer diversification. We also employ due diligence and fundamental research to assess an issuer’s credit quality, taking into account financial condition and profitability, future capital needs, potential for change in rating, industry outlook, the competitive environment and management ability. 
The analysis of issuers may include, among other things, historic and current financial conditions, current and anticipated cash flow and borrowing requirements, value of assets in relation to historical costs, strength of management, responsiveness to business conditions, credit standing, the company’s leverage versus industry norms and current and anticipated results of operations. While we consider as one factor in our credit analysis the ratings assigned by the rating services, we perform our own independent credit analysis of issuers.
In making decisions for the high yield sleeve, we rely on the knowledge, experience and judgment of our team who have access to a wide variety of research. We apply a strict sell discipline, which is as important as purchase criteria in determining the performance of this portion of this portfolio. We routinely meet to review profitability outlooks and discuss any deteriorating business fundamentals, as well as consider changes in equity valuations and market perceptions before selling securities.
In other than normal market conditions, when changing economic conditions and other factors cause the yield difference between lower rated and higher rated securities to narrow, the high yield bond sleeve may purchase higher rated U.S. debt instruments if we believe that the risk of loss of income and principal may be reduced substantially with only a relatively small reduction in yield.
We regularly review the investments of the portfolio and may sell a portfolio holding when it has achieved its valuation target, there is deterioration in the underlying fundamentals of the business, or we have identified a more attractive investment opportunity.
Material Changes During the Fiscal Year: There were no material changes to the high yield sleeve during the fiscal year.
The Fund’s Overall Portfolio. We monitor the weighting of each investment strategy within the Fund’s portfolio on an ongoing basis and rebalance the Fund’s assets when we determine that such a rebalancing is necessary to align the portfolio in accordance with the investment strategies described above.  From time to time, we may make adjustments to the weighting of each investment strategy.  Such adjustments would be based on our review and consideration of the expected returns for each investment strategy and would factor in the stock, bond and money markets, interest rate and corporate earnings growth trends, and economic conditions which support changing investment opportunities.
The Fund may invest up to 25% of its total assets in foreign securities.
The investment policies of the Fund described above are non-fundamental and may be changed by the Board of Trustees of the Fund so long as shareholders are provided with at least 60 days prior written notice of any change to the extent required by the rules under the 1940 Act.
Other investment techniques and strategies
Foreign Currency Transactions.  The Fund may engage in foreign currency transactions for the purpose of hedging against foreign exchange risk arising from the Fund’s investment or anticipated investment in securities denominated in foreign currencies. The Fund also may enter into these contracts for purposes of increasing exposure to a foreign currency or to shift exposure to foreign currency fluctuations from one country to another.
Preferred Shares. The Fund may invest in preferred shares. Preferred shares are equity securities, but they have many characteristics of fixed income securities, such as a fixed dividend payment rate and/or a liquidity preference over the issuer’s common shares. However, because preferred shares are equity securities, they may be more susceptible to risks traditionally associated with equity investments than the Fund’s fixed income securities.
Loans. The Fund may invest in direct debt instruments which are interests in amounts owed to lenders by corporate or other borrowers. The Fund may invest up to 10% of its total assets in corporate loans.  The loans in which the Fund invests primarily consist of direct obligations of a borrower. The Fund may invest in a loan at origination as a co-lender or by acquiring in the secondary market participations in, assignments of or novations of a corporate loan. By purchasing a participation, the Fund acquires some or all of the interest of a bank or other lending institution in a loan to a borrower. The participations typically will result in the Fund having a contractual relationship only with the lender, not the borrower. The Fund will have the right to receive payments of principal, interest and any fees to which it is entitled only from the lender selling the participation and only upon receipt by the lender of the payments from the borrower. Many such loans are secured, although some may be unsecured. Loans that are fully secured offer the Fund more protection than an unsecured loan in the event of non-payment of scheduled

12  |  Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund


Objective, strategies and risks (unaudited)
interest or principal. However, there is no assurance that the liquidation of collateral from a secured loan would satisfy the corporate borrower’s obligation, or that the collateral can be liquidated. Direct debt instruments may involve a risk of loss in case of default or insolvency of the borrower and may offer less legal protection to the Fund in the event of fraud or misrepresentation. In addition, loan participations involve a risk of insolvency of the lending bank or other financial intermediary. The markets in loans are not regulated by federal securities laws or the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Structured Securities. The Fund may invest in structured securities. The value of the principal and/or interest on such securities is determined by reference to changes in the value of specific currencies, interest rates, commodities, indices or other financial indicators (“Reference”) or the relative change in two or more References. The interest rate or the principal amount payable upon maturity or redemption may be increased or decreased depending upon changes in the Reference. The terms of the structured securities may provide in certain circumstances that no principal is due at maturity and, therefore, may result in a loss of the Fund’s investment. Changes in the interest rate or principal payable at maturity may be a multiple of the changes in the value of the Reference. Consequently, structured securities may entail a greater degree of market risk than other types of fixed income securities.
U.S. Government Securities. The Fund may invest in U.S. government securities, including debt securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury, U.S. Government agencies or government-sponsored entities. These securities may have fixed, floating or variable rate and also include mortgage-backed securities.
Other Investment Companies. The Fund may invest in other investment companies to the extent permitted under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, and the rules, regulations, and exemptive orders thereunder. The Fund, as a holder of the securities of other investment companies, will bear its pro rata portion of the other investment companies’ expenses, including advisory fees. These expenses are in addition to the direct expenses of the Fund’s own operations.
Defensive and Temporary Investments. Under unusual market or economic conditions or for temporary defensive purposes, the Fund may invest up to 100% of its total assets in securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its instrumentalities or agencies, certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances and other bank obligations, commercial paper rated in the highest category by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization or other fixed income securities deemed by us to be consistent with a defensive posture, or may hold cash. To the extent the Fund implements defensive strategies, it may be unable to achieve its investment objective.
Derivatives. The Fund may purchase and sell derivative instruments such as exchange-listed and over-the-counter put and call options on securities, financial futures, equity, fixed-income and interest rate indices, and other financial instruments, purchase and sell financial futures contracts and options thereon, and enter into various interest rate transactions such as swaps, caps, floors or collars. The Fund also may purchase derivative instruments that combine features of these instruments. Collectively, all of the above are referred to as “derivatives.” The Fund generally seeks to use derivatives as a portfolio management or hedging technique to seek to protect against possible adverse changes in the market value of securities held in or to be purchased for the Fund’s portfolio, protect the value of the Fund’s portfolio, facilitate the sale of certain securities for investment purposes, manage the effective interest rate exposure of the Fund, manage the effective maturity or duration of the Fund’s portfolio, or establish positions in the derivatives markets as a temporary substitute for purchasing or selling particular securities. The Fund may invest up to 10% of its total assets in futures and options on securities and indices and in other derivatives. In addition, the Fund may enter into interest rate swap transactions with respect to the total amount the Fund is leveraged in order to hedge against adverse changes in interest rates affecting dividends payable on any preferred shares or interest payable on borrowings constituting leverage. In connection with any such swap transaction, the Fund will segregate liquid securities in the amount of its obligations under the transaction. The Fund generally does not anticipate using derivatives for non-hedging purposes, but in the event we use derivatives for non-hedging purposes, no more than 10% of the Fund’s total assets will be committed to initial margin for derivatives for such purposes.
Repurchase Agreements. The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with broker-dealers, member banks of the Federal Reserve System and other financial institutions. Repurchase agreements are arrangements under which the Fund purchases securities and the seller agrees to repurchase the securities within a specific time and at a specific price. We review and monitor the creditworthiness of any institution which enters into a repurchase agreement with the Fund. The counterparty’s obligations under the repurchase agreement are collateralized with U.S. Treasury and/or agency obligations with a market value of not less than 100% of the obligations, valued daily. Collateral is held by the Fund’s custodian in a segregated, safekeeping account for the benefit of the Fund. Repurchase agreements afford the Fund an opportunity to earn income on temporarily available cash at low risk.  In the event that the counterparty to a repurchase agreement is unwilling or unable to fulfill its contractual obligations to repurchase the underlying security, the Fund may lose money, suffer delays, or incur costs arising from holding or selling the underlying security.

Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund  |  13


Objective, strategies and risks (unaudited)
Portfolio Turnover. It is the policy of the Fund not to engage in trading for short-term profits although portfolio turnover is not considered a limiting factor in the execution of investment decisions for the Fund.
Leverage. The Fund may borrow money from banks or financial institutions. Although it has no current intention to do so, the Fund also reserves the flexibility to issue preferred shares and debt securities for leveraging purposes. The Fund also may borrow money as a temporary measure for extraordinary or emergency purposes, including the payment of dividends and the settlement of securities transactions which otherwise might require untimely dispositions of the Fund’s holdings. The Fund will not borrow or issue preferred shares if, immediately after such borrowing or issuance, total leverage for the Fund exceeds 38% of the Fund’s total assets. The Fund may also borrow through reverse repurchase agreements (up to 20% of its total assets). Reverse repurchase agreements involve the sale of a security by the Fund to another party (generally a bank or dealer) in return for cash and an agreement by the Fund to buy the security back at a specified price and time. When the Fund leverages its assets, the fees paid to us for investment advisory and management services will be higher than if the Fund did not leverage because our fees are calculated based on the Fund’s total assets including the proceeds of the issuance of preferred shares or any other amounts representing leverage. Consequently, the Fund's investment adviser may have differing interests than the Fund in determining whether to leverage the Fund’s assets. The Board of Trustees monitors this potential conflict.
Principal risks
An investment in the Fund may lose money, is not a deposit of a bank, is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other governmental agency, and is primarily subject to the risks briefly summarized below.
Market Risk.  The values of, and/or the income generated by, securities held by a Fund may decline due to general market conditions or other factors, including those directly involving the issuers of such securities. Securities markets are volatile and may decline significantly in response to adverse issuer, regulatory, political, or economic developments. Different sectors of the market and different security types may react differently to such developments. Political, geopolitical, natural and other events, including war, terrorism, trade disputes, government shutdowns, market closures, natural and environmental disasters, epidemics, pandemics and other public health crises and related events have led, and in the future may lead, to economic uncertainty, decreased economic activity, increased market volatility and other disruptive effects on U.S. and global economies and markets. Such events may have significant adverse direct or indirect effects on a Fund and its investments. In addition, economies and financial markets throughout the world are becoming increasingly interconnected, which increases the likelihood that events or conditions in one country or region will adversely impact markets or issuers in other countries or regions.
Equity Securities Risk. The values of equity securities may experience periods of substantial price volatility and may decline significantly over short time periods. In general, the values of equity securities are more volatile than those of debt securities. Equity securities fluctuate in value and price in response to factors specific to the issuer of the security, such as management performance, financial condition, and market demand for the issuer’s products or services, as well as factors unrelated to the fundamental condition of the issuer, including general market, economic and political conditions. Different parts of a market, industry and sector may react differently to adverse issuer, market, regulatory, political, and economic developments.
Utility Securities Risk. Investments in utility sectors include the unique risks associated with decreases in the demand for utility company products and services, increased competition resulting from deregulation, and rising energy costs, among others. Such developments also could cause utility companies such as water, gas and electric companies, to reduce the dividends they pay on their stock, potentially decreasing the dividends you receive from the Fund.  Water, gas and electric companies typically borrow heavily to support continuing operations. Increases in interest rates could increase these utility companies’ borrowing costs, which could adversely impact their financial results and stock price, and ultimately the value of and total return on your Fund shares.
Industry Concentration Risk. A fund that concentrates its investments in an industry or group of industries is more vulnerable to adverse market, economic, regulatory, political or other developments affecting such industry or group of industries than a fund that invests its assets more broadly.
Debt Securities Risk. Debt securities are subject to credit risk and interest rate risk. Credit risk is the possibility that the issuer or guarantor of a debt security may be unable, or perceived to be unable, to pay interest or repay principal when they become due. In these instances, the value of an investment could decline and the Fund could lose money. Credit risk increases as an issuer’s credit quality or financial strength declines. Interest rate risk is the possibility that interest rates will change over time. When interest rates rise, the value of debt securities tends to fall. The longer the terms of the debt securities held by a Fund, the more the Fund is subject to this risk. If interest rates decline, interest that the Fund is able to earn on its investments in debt securities may also decline, which could cause the Fund to reduce the dividends it pays to shareholders, but the value of those securities may increase. Very low or negative interest rates may magnify interest rate risk.

14  |  Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund


Objective, strategies and risks (unaudited)
High Yield Securities Risk. High yield securities and unrated securities of similar credit quality (commonly known as “junk bonds”) have a much greater risk of default (or in the case of bonds currently in default, of not returning principal) and their values tend to be more volatile than higher-rated securities with similar maturities. Additionally, these securities tend to be less liquid and more difficult to value than higher-rated securities.
Leverage Risk.  Leverage creates risks which may adversely affect the return for the holders of common shares, including (i) the likelihood of greater volatility of net asset value and the market price of common shares or fluctuations in the dividend paid to the Fund; (ii) fluctuations in the dividend rates on any preferred shares or in interest rates on borrowings and short-term debt; (iii) increased operating costs, which may reduce the Fund’s total return; and (iv) the potential for a decline in the value of an investment acquired with borrowed funds, while the Fund’s obligations under such borrowing remain fixed.  To the extent the income or capital appreciation derived from securities purchased with funds received from leverage exceeds the cost of leverage, the Fund’s return will be greater than if leverage had not been used.  Conversely, if the income or capital appreciation from the securities purchased with such funds is not sufficient to cover the cost of leverage or if the Fund incurs capital losses, the return of the Fund will be less than if leverage had not been used, and therefore the amount available for distribution to shareholders as dividends and other distributions will be reduced or potentially eliminated.
Anti-takeover Provisions Risk. The Fund’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust and By-laws include provisions that could limit the ability of other entities or persons to acquire control of the Fund or to change the composition of its Board of Trustees.  Such provisions could limit the ability of shareholders to sell their shares at a premium over prevailing market prices by discouraging a third party from seeking to obtain control of the Fund. These provisions include staggered terms of office for the Trustees, advance notice requirements for shareholder proposals, and supermajority voting requirements for open-ending the Fund or a merger, liquidation, asset sale or similar transactions.
Closed-end Fund Risk.  Closed-end funds involve investment risks different from those associated with other investment companies. Shares of closed-end funds frequently trade at either a premium or discount relative to their net asset value (“NAV”).  There can be no assurance that the discount will decrease.  It is possible that a market discount may increase and the Fund may suffer realized or unrealized capital losses due to further decline in the market price of the securities held by the Fund, thereby adversely affecting the NAV of the Fund’s shares. Similarly, there can be no assurance that the Fund’s shares will trade at a premium, will continue to trade at a premium or that the premium will not decrease over time. The Fund’s shares are designed primarily for long-term investors, and the Fund should not be viewed as a vehicle for short-term trading purposes.
Convertible Securities Risk. A convertible security has characteristics of both equity and debt securities and, as a result, is exposed to risks that are typically associated with both types of securities.  The market value of a convertible security tends to decline as interest rates increase but also tends to reflect changes in the market price of the common stock of the issuing company. A convertible security is also exposed to the risk that an issuer is unable to meet its obligation to make dividend or interest and principal payments when due as a result of changing financial or market conditions. In the event of a liquidation of the issuer, holders of a convertible security would generally be paid only after holders of any senior debt obligations. A Fund may be forced to convert a convertible security before it would otherwise choose to do so, which may decrease the Fund's return.
Derivatives Risk.  The use of derivatives, such as futures, options and swap agreements, presents risks different from, and possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in traditional securities. The use of derivatives can lead to losses because of adverse movements in the price or value of the derivatives’ underlying assets, indexes or rates and the derivatives themselves, which may be magnified by certain features of the derivatives. These risks are heightened when derivatives are used to enhance a Fund's return or as a substitute for a position or security, rather than solely to hedge (or mitigate) the risk of a position or security held by the Fund. The success of a derivative strategy will be affected by the portfolio manager’s ability to assess and predict market or economic developments and their impact on the derivatives’ underlying assets, indexes or rates and the derivatives themselves. Certain derivative instruments may become illiquid and, as a result, may be difficult to sell when the portfolio manager believes it would be appropriate to do so. Certain derivatives create leverage, which can magnify the impact of a decline in the value of their underlying assets, indexes or rates and increase the volatility of the Fund’s net asset value.  Certain derivatives (e.g., over-the-counter swaps) are also subject to the risk that the counterparty to the derivative contract will be unwilling or unable to fulfill its contractual obligations, which may cause a Fund to lose money, suffer delays or incur costs arising from holding or selling an underlying asset.  Changes in laws or regulations may make the use of derivatives more costly, may limit the availability of derivatives, or may otherwise adversely affect the use, value or performance of derivatives.
Foreign Currency Risk. The Fund may invest in non-dollar-denominated investments. The Fund may be limited in its ability to hedge the value of its non-dollar denominated investments against currency fluctuations. As a result, a decline in the value of

Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund  |  15


Objective, strategies and risks (unaudited)
currencies in which the Fund’s investments are denominated against the dollar will result in a corresponding decline in the dollar value of the Fund’s assets. These declines will in turn affect the Fund’s income and net asset value.
Foreign Investment Risk. Foreign investments may be subject to lower liquidity, greater price volatility and risks related to adverse political, regulatory, market or economic developments. Foreign companies may be subject to significantly higher levels of taxation than U.S. companies, including potentially confiscatory levels of taxation, thereby reducing the earnings potential of such foreign companies.  Foreign investments may involve exposure to changes in foreign currency exchange rates. Such changes may reduce the U.S. dollar value of the investments. Foreign investments may be subject to additional risks such as potentially higher withholding and other taxes, and may also be subject to greater trade settlement, custodial, and other operational risks than domestic investments. Certain foreign markets may also be characterized by less stringent investor protection and disclosure standards.
Growth/Value Investment Risk. Securities that exhibit growth or value characteristics tend to perform differently and shift into and out of favor with investors depending on changes in market and economic sentiment and conditions. As a result, a Fund's performance may at times be worse than the performance of other mutual funds that invest more broadly or in securities of a different investment style.
Investment Risk. An investment in the Fund is subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of the entire principal amount that you invest. Your investment in the Fund represents an indirect investment in the securities owned by the Fund. The value of these securities may increase or decrease, at times rapidly and unexpectedly. Your investment in the Fund may at any point in the future be worth less than your original investment even after taking into account the reinvestment of dividends and distributions.
Issuer Risk.  The value of corporate income-producing securities may decline for a number of reasons which directly relate to the issuer, such as management performance, financial leverage and reduced demand for the issuer’s goods and services.
Loans Risk. Loans may be unrated, less liquid and more difficult to value than traditional debt securities. Loans may be made to finance highly leveraged corporate operations or acquisitions. The highly leveraged capital structure of the borrowers in such transactions may make such loans especially vulnerable to adverse changes in financial, economic or market conditions. Loans generally are subject to restrictions on transfer, and only limited opportunities may exist to sell such loans in secondary markets. As a result, a Fund may be unable to sell loans at a desired time or price. If the Fund acquires only an assignment or a participation in a loan made by a third party, the Fund may not be able to control amendments, waivers or the exercise of any remedies that a lender would have under a direct loan and may assume liability as a lender.
Market Capitalization Risk. The Fund may invest the portion of its assets invested in utility securities in securities of companies of all market capitalizations. Stocks fall into three broad market capitalization categories—large, medium and small. Investing primarily in one category carries the risk that due to current market conditions that category may be out of favor with investors. If valuations of large capitalization companies appear to be greatly out of proportion to the valuations of small or medium capitalization companies, investors may migrate to the stocks of small- and mid-sized companies causing a fund that invests in these companies to increase in value more rapidly than a fund that invests in larger, fully-valued companies. Investing in medium and small capitalization companies may be subject to special risks associated with narrower product lines, more limited financial resources, smaller management groups or greater dependence on a few key employees, and a more limited trading market for their stocks as compared to larger capitalization companies. As a result, stocks of small and medium capitalization companies may decline significantly in market downturns or their value may fluctuate more sharply than other securities.
Market Price of Shares Risk. Whether investors will realize a gain or loss upon the sale of the Fund’s common shares will depend upon whether the market value of the shares at the time of sale is above or below the price the investor paid, taking into account transaction costs, for the shares and is not directly dependent upon the Fund’s net asset value. Because the market value of the Fund’s shares will be determined by factors such as the relative demand for and supply of the shares in the market, general market conditions and other factors beyond the control of the Fund, the Fund cannot predict whether its common shares will trade at, below or above net asset value, or below or above the initial offering price for the shares.
Preferred Stock Risk. The Fund may purchase preferred stock. Preferred stock, unlike common stock, has a stated dividend rate payable from the corporation’s earnings. Preferred stock dividends may be cumulative or non-cumulative, participating, or auction rate. “Cumulative” dividend provisions require all or a portion of prior unpaid dividends to be paid. If interest rates rise, the fixed dividend on preferred stocks may be less attractive, causing the price of preferred stocks to decline. Preferred stock may have mandatory sinking fund provisions, as well as call/redemption provisions prior to maturity, which can be a negative feature when interest rates decline. The rights of preferred stock on distribution of a corporation’s assets in the event of a liquidation are generally subordinate to the rights associated with a corporation’s debt securities.

16  |  Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund


Portfolio of investments—August 31, 2022

        Shares Value
Common stocks: 86.33%          
Communication services: 0.08%          
Diversified telecommunication services: 0.08%           
Intelsat SA            3,909 $    101,634
Energy: 0.14%          
Energy equipment & services: 0.08%           
Bristow Group Incorporated †           3,368      97,706
Oil, gas & consumable fuels: 0.06%           
Denbury Incorporated †             746      66,342
Financials: 0.17%          
Mortgage REITs: 0.17%           
Blackstone Mortgage Trust Incorporated Class A            2,257      65,408
Ladder Capital Corporation            6,254      69,169
Starwood Property Trust Incorporated            2,796      64,112
              198,689
Utilities: 85.94%          
Electric utilities: 49.94%           
Alliant Energy Corporation           29,270   1,786,641
American Electric Power Company Incorporated           59,781   5,990,056
Constellation Energy Corporation           29,898   2,439,378
Duke Energy Corporation           59,709   6,383,489
Entergy Corporation           22,292   2,570,268
Evergy Incorporated           29,385   2,013,754
Eversource Energy           29,400   2,636,886
Exelon Corporation        109,843 4,823,206
FirstEnergy Corporation        61,615 2,436,873
NextEra Energy Incorporated        212,045 18,036,548
The Southern Company        72,666 5,600,369
Xcel Energy Incorporated        71,281 5,292,614
          60,010,082
Gas utilities: 3.87%           
Atmos Energy Corporation        29,092 3,298,451
ONE Gas Incorporated        17,268 1,351,566
          4,650,017
Multi-utilities: 29.64%           
Ameren Corporation        38,992 3,611,439
CenterPoint Energy Incorporated        114,071 3,596,659
CMS Energy Corporation        59,487 4,017,752
Dominion Energy Incorporated        81,959 6,704,246
DTE Energy Company        31,112 4,055,138
Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated        55,246 3,555,633
Sempra Energy        38,379 6,331,384
WEC Energy Group Incorporated        36,310 3,745,013
          35,617,264
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.

Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund  |  17


Portfolio of investments—August 31, 2022

        Shares Value
Water utilities: 2.49%           
American Water Works Company Incorporated           20,113 $  2,985,775
Total Common stocks (Cost $81,253,879)         103,727,509
    
    Interest
rate
Maturity
date
Principal  
Corporate bonds and notes: 30.17%          
Communication services: 4.83%          
Diversified telecommunication services: 0.30%          
Cablevision Lightpath LLC 144A   3.88% 9-15-2027 $   30,000      26,182
Cablevision Lightpath LLC 144A   5.63 9-15-2028   105,000      85,556
Level 3 Financing Incorporated 144A   3.63 1-15-2029   155,000     124,405
Level 3 Financing Incorporated 144A   4.25 7-1-2028   100,000      83,125
Level 3 Financing Incorporated 144A   4.63 9-15-2027       50,000      44,171
              363,439
Entertainment: 0.42%          
Live Nation Entertainment Incorporated 144A   3.75 1-15-2028   260,000     227,557
Live Nation Entertainment Incorporated 144A   5.63 3-15-2026    48,000      46,320
Live Nation Entertainment Incorporated 144A   6.50 5-15-2027     225,000     224,634
              498,511
Media: 4.11%          
CCO Holdings LLC 144A   4.25 1-15-2034   125,000      95,170
CCO Holdings LLC 144A   4.50 8-15-2030   320,000     269,112
CCO Holdings LLC    4.50 5-1-2032    50,000      40,574
CCO Holdings LLC 144A   5.00 2-1-2028    25,000      22,846
CCO Holdings LLC 144A   5.13 5-1-2027   250,000     237,299
CCO Holdings LLC 144A   5.50 5-1-2026     2,000       1,980
Cinemark USA Incorporated 144A   5.25 7-15-2028   235,000     190,366
Cinemark USA Incorporated 144A   5.88 3-15-2026    65,000      57,668
Cinemark USA Incorporated 144A   8.75 5-1-2025   110,000     112,821
Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings 144A   7.50 6-1-2029 270,000 217,073
CSC Holdings LLC 144A   4.63 12-1-2030 200,000 143,000
CSC Holdings LLC 144A   5.75 1-15-2030 150,000 116,166
CSC Holdings LLC 144A   6.50 2-1-2029 200,000 184,047
DIRECTV Financing LLC 144A   5.88 8-15-2027 145,000 132,675
DISH DBS Corporation 144A   5.75 12-1-2028 185,000 142,055
Gray Escrow II Incorporated 144A   5.38 11-15-2031 425,000 359,202
Gray Television Incorporated 144A   4.75 10-15-2030 250,000 206,000
Lamar Media Corporation   4.88 1-15-2029 130,000 120,701
Lamar Media Corporation    4.00 2-15-2030 80,000 69,650
Match Group Holdings II LLC 144A   5.63 2-15-2029 225,000 210,129
Nexstar Broadcasting Incorporated 144A   4.75 11-1-2028 125,000 113,125
Nexstar Broadcasting Incorporated 144A   5.63 7-15-2027 125,000 119,022
Outfront Media Capital Corporation 144A   4.63 3-15-2030 150,000 125,144
Outfront Media Capital Corporation 144A   5.00 8-15-2027 85,000 77,797
QVC Incorporated   4.38 9-1-2028 200,000 151,783
QVC Incorporated   4.75 2-15-2027 345,000 284,946
QVC Incorporated   5.95 3-15-2043 95,000 65,627
Salem Media Group Incorporated 144A   6.75 6-1-2024 170,000 164,900
Scripps Escrow II Incorporated 144A   3.88 1-15-2029 35,000 29,675
Scripps Escrow II Incorporated 144A   5.38 1-15-2031 425,000 351,688
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.

18  |  Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund


Portfolio of investments—August 31, 2022

    Interest
rate
Maturity
date
Principal Value
Media (continued)          
Scripps Escrow II Incorporated 144A   5.88% 7-15-2027 $   50,000 $      45,249
Townsquare Media Incorporated 144A   6.88 2-1-2026     510,000     477,146
            4,934,636
Consumer discretionary: 4.17%          
Auto components: 0.47%          
Allison Transmission Incorporated 144A   5.88 6-1-2029   170,000     159,813
Clarios Global LP 144A   6.25 5-15-2026   144,000     142,400
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company   7.63 3-15-2027     257,000     260,534
              562,747
Automobiles: 0.11%          
Ford Motor Company    3.25 2-12-2032   175,000     136,691
Diversified consumer services: 0.12%          
Service Corporation International   7.50 4-1-2027   140,000     146,825
Hotels, restaurants & leisure: 2.08%          
Carnival Corporation 144A   4.00 8-1-2028   150,000     125,061
Carnival Corporation 144A   6.00 5-1-2029   120,000      90,978
Carnival Corporation 144A   7.63 3-1-2026   203,000     172,824
Carnival Corporation 144A   9.88 8-1-2027   100,000     100,375
Carnival Corporation 144A   10.50 2-1-2026    60,000      61,800
CCM Merger Incorporated 144A   6.38 5-1-2026   555,000     521,571
Cedar Fair LP 144A   5.50 5-1-2025    80,000      78,472
Churchill Downs Incorporated 144A   4.75 1-15-2028   130,000     118,255
Hilton Domestic Operating Company Incorporated 144A   5.38 5-1-2025   110,000     109,049
NCL Corporation Limited 144A   5.88 3-15-2026 265,000 214,291
NCL Corporation Limited 144A   5.88 2-15-2027 170,000 154,075
NCL Corporation Limited 144A   7.75 2-15-2029 110,000 89,330
Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited 144A   5.38 7-15-2027 25,000 19,341
Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited 144A   5.50 8-31-2026 95,000 75,937
Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited 144A   5.50 4-1-2028 150,000 113,250
Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited 144A   9.13 6-15-2023 95,000 95,770
Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited 144A   10.88 6-1-2023 100,000 101,813
Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited 144A   11.63 8-15-2027 155,000 151,925
Six Flags Entertainment Company 144A   5.50 4-15-2027 50,000 45,850
Six Flags Entertainment Company 144A   7.00 7-1-2025 55,000 55,587
          2,495,554
Household durables: 0.09%          
Allied Universal Holdco LLC 144A   6.63 7-15-2026 115,000 107,673
Multiline retail: 0.35%          
LSF9 Atlantis Holdings LLC 144A   7.75 2-15-2026 200,000 185,001
Macy's Retail Holdings LLC 144A   5.88 4-1-2029 245,000 212,048
Macy's Retail Holdings LLC 144A   6.13 3-15-2032 30,000 24,912
          421,961
Specialty retail: 0.75%          
GAP Incorporated 144A   3.88 10-1-2031 255,000 176,846
Group 1 Automotive Incorporated 144A   4.00 8-15-2028 145,000 123,885
Lithia Motors Incorporated 144A   3.88 6-1-2029 80,000 67,521
Michaels Companies Incorporated 144A   7.88 5-1-2029 145,000 96,425
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.

Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund  |  19


Portfolio of investments—August 31, 2022

    Interest
rate
Maturity
date
Principal Value
Specialty retail (continued)          
NMG Holding Company Incorporated 144A   7.13% 4-1-2026 $  200,000 $     187,114
Rent-A-Center Incorporated 144A   6.38 2-15-2029     295,000     249,181
              900,972
Textiles, apparel & luxury goods: 0.20%          
G-III Apparel Group Limited 144A   7.88 8-15-2025   240,000     236,815
Consumer staples: 0.20%          
Food products: 0.20%          
CHS Incorporated 144A   5.25 5-15-2030   145,000     109,842
CHS Incorporated 144A   6.00 1-15-2029    10,000       8,208
CHS Incorporated 144A   6.88 4-15-2029     185,000     115,625
              233,675
Energy: 5.95%          
Energy equipment & services: 1.27%          
Bristow Group Incorporated 144A   6.88 3-1-2028   375,000     347,813
Hilcorp Energy Company 144A   5.75 2-1-2029    55,000      50,066
Hilcorp Energy Company 144A   6.00 4-15-2030    30,000      27,619
Hilcorp Energy Company 144A   6.00 2-1-2031    55,000      49,727
Hilcorp Energy Company 144A   6.25 11-1-2028    75,000      70,871
Hilcorp Energy Company 144A   6.25 4-15-2032    30,000      26,890
Oceaneering International Incorporated   4.65 11-15-2024    80,000      74,634
Oceaneering International Incorporated   6.00 2-1-2028   225,000     192,095
Pattern Energy Operations LP 144A   4.50 8-15-2028   500,000     450,523
USA Compression Partners LP    6.88 4-1-2026   150,000     140,678
USA Compression Partners LP    6.88 9-1-2027 100,000 92,444
          1,523,360
Oil, gas & consumable fuels: 4.68%          
Aethon United 144A   8.25 2-15-2026 430,000 429,819
Antero Resources Corporation 144A   5.38 3-1-2030 65,000 61,182
Archrock Partners LP 144A   6.25 4-1-2028 135,000 122,850
Archrock Partners LP 144A   6.88 4-1-2027 125,000 117,188
Buckeye Partners LP 144A   4.50 3-1-2028 25,000 22,134
Buckeye Partners LP    5.85 11-15-2043 150,000 114,448
Cheniere Energy Partners LP    4.50 10-1-2029 75,000 69,062
CQP Holdco LP 144A   5.50 6-15-2031 295,000 260,919
DT Midstream Incorporated 144A   4.13 6-15-2029 85,000 74,628
DT Midstream Incorporated 144A   4.38 6-15-2031 180,000 153,900
Encino Acquisition Partners Company 144A   8.50 5-1-2028 355,000 337,977
EnLink Midstream Partners LP    5.05 4-1-2045 210,000 151,293
EnLink Midstream Partners LP    5.38 6-1-2029 297,000 277,695
EnLink Midstream Partners LP    5.45 6-1-2047 105,000 80,194
EnLink Midstream Partners LP    5.60 4-1-2044 75,000 58,772
EnLink Midstream Partners LP 144A   5.63 1-15-2028 35,000 33,623
EnLink Midstream Partners LP 144A   6.50 9-1-2030 155,000 154,225
Enviva Partners LP 144A   6.50 1-15-2026 600,000 582,810
EQM Midstream Partners 144A   7.50 6-1-2027 5,000 4,944
EQM Midstream Partners 144A   7.50 6-1-2030 120,000 119,137
Harvest Midstream LP 144A   7.50 9-1-2028 145,000 137,190
Hess Midstream Operation Company 144A   5.50 10-15-2030 30,000 27,315
Kinetik Holdings LP Company 144A   5.88 6-15-2030 120,000 114,157
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.

20  |  Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund


Portfolio of investments—August 31, 2022

    Interest
rate
Maturity
date
Principal Value
Oil, gas & consumable fuels (continued)          
Murphy Oil Corporation   5.75% 8-15-2025 $   15,000 $      14,857
Murphy Oil Corporation   5.88 12-1-2027    25,000      24,310
Murphy Oil Corporation   6.13 12-1-2042    75,000      58,683
Murphy Oil Corporation   6.38 7-15-2028   135,000     132,943
Nabors Industries Limited 144A   7.38 5-15-2027   180,000     173,700
New Fortress Energy Incorporated 144A   6.50 9-30-2026   305,000     288,942
Occidental Petroleum Corporation   6.45 9-15-2036   525,000     561,062
Rockies Express Pipeline LLC 144A   6.88 4-15-2040   180,000     149,816
Southwestern Energy Company   4.75 2-1-2032   130,000     115,877
Southwestern Energy Company   7.75 10-1-2027    41,000      42,486
Southwestern Energy Company   8.38 9-15-2028   110,000     115,713
Tallgrass Energy Partners LP 144A   6.00 12-31-2030   125,000     109,408
Tallgrass Energy Partners LP 144A   6.00 9-1-2031   125,000     109,375
Venture Global LNG Incorporated 144A   3.88 11-1-2033    35,000      29,079
Western Midstream Operating LP    5.30 3-1-2048     225,000     197,838
            5,629,551
Financials: 4.91%          
Capital markets: 0.27%          
MSCI Incorporated 144A   4.00 11-15-2029   120,000     106,813
Oppenheimer Holdings Incorporated    5.50 10-1-2025     225,000     224,021
              330,834
Consumer finance: 2.25%          
FirstCash Incorporated 144A   4.63 9-1-2028    80,000      69,269
FirstCash Incorporated 144A   5.63 1-1-2030 145,000 129,775
Ford Motor Credit Company LLC    4.39 1-8-2026 400,000 376,592
Ford Motor Credit Company LLC    5.11 5-3-2029 535,000 494,434
LFS TopCo LLC 144A   5.88 10-15-2026 120,000 97,696
Navient Corporation   5.00 3-15-2027 195,000 166,943
Navient Corporation   5.50 3-15-2029 185,000 149,857
Navient Corporation   5.63 8-1-2033 125,000 93,375
Navient Corporation   5.88 10-25-2024 225,000 216,044
OneMain Finance Corporation   5.38 11-15-2029 75,000 62,116
OneMain Finance Corporation   6.13 3-15-2024 50,000 48,820
OneMain Finance Corporation   7.13 3-15-2026 125,000 116,436
PECF USS Intermediate Holding III Corporation 144A   8.00 11-15-2029 160,000 133,625
PRA Group Incorporated 144A   5.00 10-1-2029 320,000 275,718
Rocket Mortgage LLC 144A   2.88 10-15-2026 190,000 159,600
Rocket Mortgage LLC 144A   4.00 10-15-2033 155,000 115,492
          2,705,792
Diversified financial services: 0.47%          
Hat Holdings LLC 144A   3.38 6-15-2026 120,000 104,135
Hat Holdings LLC 144A   6.00 4-15-2025 125,000 121,118
LPL Holdings Incorporated 144A   4.38 5-15-2031 210,000 184,811
United Wholesale Mortgage LLC 144A   5.50 11-15-2025 170,000 150,025
          560,089
Insurance: 0.79%          
Amwins Group Incorporated 144A   4.88 6-30-2029 210,000 182,706
AssuredPartners Incorporated 144A   5.63 1-15-2029 135,000 112,213
Broadstreet Partners Incorporated 144A   5.88 4-15-2029 345,000 284,482
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.

Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund  |  21


Portfolio of investments—August 31, 2022

    Interest
rate
Maturity
date
Principal Value
Insurance (continued)          
HUB International Limited 144A   5.63% 12-1-2029 $   65,000 $      56,852
HUB International Limited 144A   7.00 5-1-2026    55,000      53,887
Ryan Specialty Group LLC 144A   4.38 2-1-2030   165,000     148,706
Tri Pointe Homes   5.88 6-15-2024     110,000     108,577
              947,423
Mortgage REITs: 0.30%          
Blackstone Mortgage Trust Incorporated 144A   3.75 1-15-2027   125,000     108,769
Starwood Property Trust Incorporated 144A   4.38 1-15-2027   185,000     164,650
Starwood Property Trust Incorporated   4.75 3-15-2025       90,000      85,698
              359,117
Thrifts & mortgage finance: 0.83%          
Enact Holdings Incorporated 144A   6.50 8-15-2025   460,000     439,300
Ladder Capital Finance Holdings LP 144A   4.25 2-1-2027    50,000      43,738
Ladder Capital Finance Holdings LP 144A   4.75 6-15-2029   220,000     186,417
Ladder Capital Finance Holdings LP 144A   5.25 10-1-2025   195,000     189,688
United Wholesale Mortgage LLC 144A   5.50 4-15-2029     180,000     140,026
              999,169
Health care: 1.06%          
Health care providers & services: 0.87%          
180 Medical Incorporated 144A   3.88 10-15-2029   200,000     174,104
Air Methods Corporation 144A   8.00 5-15-2025   110,000      61,355
Davita Incorporated 144A   4.63 6-1-2030   370,000     297,865
Encompass Health Corporation   5.75 9-15-2025    75,000      74,301
Pediatrix Medical Group 144A   5.38 2-15-2030 110,000 93,772
Select Medical Corporation 144A   6.25 8-15-2026 255,000 243,948
Tenet Healthcare Corporation 144A   4.88 1-1-2026 100,000 95,000
          1,040,345
Health care technology: 0.16%          
IQVIA Incorporated 144A   5.00 10-15-2026 200,000 193,752
Life sciences tools & services: 0.03%          
Charles River Laboratories Incorporated 144A   4.00 3-15-2031 50,000 42,438
Industrials: 3.83%          
Aerospace & defense: 0.78%          
Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Incorporated 144A   5.50 1-15-2025 335,000 328,005
Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Incorporated 144A   7.50 4-15-2025 157,000 153,532
TransDigm Group Incorporated 144A   6.25 3-15-2026 145,000 142,463
TransDigm Group Incorporated   6.38 6-15-2026 75,000 72,000
TransDigm Group Incorporated   7.50 3-15-2027 245,000 238,875
          934,875
Airlines: 0.66%          
American Airlines Group Incorporated 144A   5.75 4-20-2029 90,000 81,247
Hawaiian Airlines Incorporated   3.90 7-15-2027 147,316 124,046
Hawaiian Brand Intellectual Property Limited 144A   5.75 1-20-2026 375,000 342,294
Spirit Loyalty Cayman Limited 144A   8.00 9-20-2025 245,000 248,839
          796,426
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.

22  |  Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund


Portfolio of investments—August 31, 2022

    Interest
rate
Maturity
date
Principal Value
Commercial services & supplies: 0.69%          
Allied Universal Holdco LLC 144A   6.00% 6-1-2029 $  385,000 $     285,745
Aramark Services Incorporated 144A   6.38 5-1-2025   130,000     128,863
CoreCivic Incorporated   8.25 4-15-2026     420,000     415,208
              829,816
Electrical equipment: 0.12%          
Sensata Technologies BV 144A   5.88 9-1-2030   155,000     151,509
Electronic equipment, instruments & components: 0.20%          
Wesco Distribution Incorporated 144A   7.13 6-15-2025   245,000     245,044
Machinery: 0.61%          
Stevens Holding Company Incorporated 144A   6.13 10-1-2026   165,000     163,763
TK Elevator US Newco Incorporated 144A   5.25 7-15-2027   335,000     304,850
Werner FinCo LP 144A   8.75 7-15-2025     295,000     259,753
              728,366
Road & rail: 0.46%          
Uber Technologies Incorporated 144A   4.50 8-15-2029   300,000     260,438
Uber Technologies Incorporated 144A   8.00 11-1-2026     285,000     287,928
              548,366
Trading companies & distributors: 0.31%          
Fortress Transportation & Infrastructure Investors LLC 144A   5.50 5-1-2028   150,000     127,631
Fortress Transportation & Infrastructure Investors LLC 144A   6.50 10-1-2025   214,000     199,375
Fortress Transportation & Infrastructure Investors LLC 144A   9.75 8-1-2027       43,000      43,104
              370,110
Information technology: 1.72%          
Communications equipment: 0.16%          
Ciena Corporation 144A   4.00 1-31-2030 80,000 69,100
CommScope Technologies LLC 144A   4.75 9-1-2029 60,000 51,057
CommScope Technologies LLC 144A   5.00 3-15-2027 85,000 67,083
          187,240
IT services: 0.48%          
Sabre GLBL Incorporated 144A   7.38 9-1-2025 40,000 37,896
Sabre GLBL Incorporated 144A   9.25 4-15-2025 550,000 541,910
          579,806
Semiconductors & semiconductor equipment: 0.06%          
QORVO Incorporated 144A   3.38 4-1-2031 90,000 72,054
Software: 1.02%          
Fair Isaac Corporation 144A   5.25 5-15-2026 220,000 212,826
MPH Acquisition Holdings LLC 144A   5.50 9-1-2028 125,000 106,563
MPH Acquisition Holdings LLC 144A   5.75 11-1-2028 340,000 269,960
NCR Corporation 144A   5.13 4-15-2029 40,000 37,351
NCR Corporation 144A   6.13 9-1-2029 200,000 190,708
NortonLifeLock Incorporated 144A   5.00 4-15-2025 225,000 222,075
SS&C Technologies Incorporated 144A   5.50 9-30-2027 200,000 189,510
          1,228,993
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.

Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund  |  23


Portfolio of investments—August 31, 2022

    Interest
rate
Maturity
date
Principal Value
Materials: 1.37%          
Chemicals: 0.50%          
Avient Corporation 144A   7.13% 8-1-2030 $   60,000 $      59,245
Celanese US Holding LLC    6.05 3-15-2025   230,000     230,585
Chemours Company 144A   4.63 11-15-2029   185,000     152,625
Olympus Water US Holding Corporation 144A   4.25 10-1-2028     200,000     162,600
              605,055
Containers & packaging: 0.70%          
Ball Corporation   2.88 8-15-2030   140,000     113,550
Berry Global Incorporated 144A   5.63 7-15-2027   270,000     263,655
Clydesdale Acquisition Holdings Incorporated 144A   8.75 4-15-2030   135,000     117,387
Crown Cork & Seal Company Incorporated   7.38 12-15-2026   165,000     172,425
Sealed Air Corporation 144A   5.00 4-15-2029    85,000      80,750
Sealed Air Corporation 144A   5.13 12-1-2024     100,000      99,000
              846,767
Metals & mining: 0.15%          
Arches Buyer Incorporated 144A   4.25 6-1-2028   125,000     100,625
Cleveland-Cliffs Incorporated   5.88 6-1-2027       80,000      76,600
              177,225
Paper & forest products: 0.02%          
Clearwater Paper Corporation 144A   4.75 8-15-2028    20,000      17,882
Real estate: 0.78%          
Equity REITs: 0.78%          
Iron Mountain Incorporated 144A   4.50 2-15-2031   250,000     207,680
Iron Mountain Incorporated 144A   5.25 7-15-2030 315,000 278,775
Service Properties Trust Company   3.95 1-15-2028 130,000 96,795
Service Properties Trust Company   4.38 2-15-2030 100,000 73,305
Service Properties Trust Company   4.75 10-1-2026 100,000 81,305
Service Properties Trust Company   4.95 2-15-2027 150,000 121,479
Service Properties Trust Company   5.25 2-15-2026 75,000 63,830
Service Properties Trust Company   7.50 9-15-2025 15,000 14,395
          937,564
Utilities: 1.35%          
Electric utilities: 0.40%          
NextEra Energy Operating Partners LP 144A   4.25 9-15-2024 2,000 1,950
NextEra Energy Operating Partners LP 144A   4.50 9-15-2027 200,000 185,000
PG&E Corporation   5.00 7-1-2028 25,000 22,199
PG&E Corporation   5.25 7-1-2030 315,000 272,318
          481,467
Independent power & renewable electricity producers: 0.95%          
NSG Holdings LLC 144A   7.75 12-15-2025 202,208 195,636
TerraForm Power Operating LLC 144A   4.75 1-15-2030 175,000 154,937
TerraForm Power Operating LLC 144A   5.00 1-31-2028 525,000 481,199
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.

24  |  Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund


Portfolio of investments—August 31, 2022

    Interest
rate
Maturity
date
Principal Value
Independent power & renewable electricity producers
(continued)
         
Vistra Operations Company LLC 144A   4.38% 5-1-2029 $  110,000 $      95,898
Vistra Operations Company LLC 144A   5.63 2-15-2027     225,000     216,563
            1,144,233
Total Corporate bonds and notes (Cost $39,461,258)          36,254,167
Loans: 2.17%          
Communication services: 0.18%          
Media: 0.18%          
Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings (1 Month LIBOR +3.50%) <±   5.94 8-21-2026    90,000      83,163
Hubbard Radio LLC (3 Month LIBOR +4.25%) ±   6.78 3-28-2025     140,155     132,212
              215,375
Consumer discretionary: 0.11%          
Hotels, restaurants & leisure: 0.07%          
Dave & Buster's Incorporated (U.S. SOFR 1 Month +5.00%) <±   7.46 6-29-2029    85,000      82,946
Multiline retail: 0.04%          
LSF9 Atlantis Holdings LLC (U.S. SOFR 1 Month +7.25%) ‡±   9.30 3-31-2029    55,000      53,488
Energy: 0.17%          
Oil, gas & consumable fuels: 0.17%          
GIP II Blue Holdings LP (1 Month LIBOR +4.50%) ±   6.75 9-29-2028   124,687     123,284
M6 ETX Holdings II MidCo LLC (U.S. SOFR 1 Month +4.50%) <±   7.12 8-10-2029       85,000      83,672
              206,956
Financials: 0.68%          
Diversified financial services: 0.48%          
Intelsat Jackson Holdings SA (U.S. SOFR 1 Month +4.50%) <±   7.44 2-1-2029   238,675     225,746
Resolute Investment Managers Incorporated (1 Month LIBOR +4.25%) ‡±   6.50 4-30-2024 93,790 85,349
Resolute Investment Managers Incorporated (1 Month LIBOR +8.00%) ‡±   10.81 4-30-2025 105,857 97,653
Russell Investments US Institutional Holdco Incorporated (1 Month LIBOR +3.50%) ±   5.00 5-30-2025 173,532 163,880
          572,628
Insurance: 0.09%          
Asurion LLC (3 Month LIBOR +2.00%) <±   5.36 11-3-2023 26,132 24,347
Asurion LLC (1 Month LIBOR +5.25%) ±   7.77 1-31-2028 105,000 89,775
          114,122
Mortgage REITs: 0.11%          
Claros Mortgage Trust Incorporated (U.S. SOFR 1 Month +4.50%) ‡±   6.89 8-9-2026 134,325 130,631
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.

Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund  |  25


Portfolio of investments—August 31, 2022

    Interest
rate
Maturity
date
Principal Value
Health care: 0.23%          
Health care equipment & supplies: 0.05%          
Surgery Center Holdings Incorporated (1 Month LIBOR +3.75%) ±   5.63% 8-31-2026 $   58,032 $      56,229
Pharmaceuticals: 0.18%          
Bausch Health Companies Incorporated (U.S. SOFR 1 Month +5.25%) <±   7.66 2-1-2027   270,000     214,650
Industrials: 0.80%          
Airlines: 0.31%          
Mileage Plus Holdings LLC (1 Month LIBOR +5.25%) ±   7.31 6-21-2027   250,000     253,555
SkyMiles IP Limited (3 Month LIBOR +3.75%) ±   6.46 10-20-2027     115,000     116,375
              369,930
Commercial services & supplies: 0.32%          
Polaris Newco LLC (1 Month LIBOR +4.00%) ±   6.52 6-2-2028   163,114     156,325
The Geo Group Incorporated (3 Month LIBOR +2.00%) ±   4.79 3-22-2024     239,028     230,423
              386,748
Machinery: 0.17%          
Vertical US Newco Incorporated (6 Month LIBOR +3.50%) ±   6.87 7-30-2027    41,016      39,760
Werner FinCo LP (3 Month LIBOR +4.00%) ‡±   6.52 7-24-2024     177,209     163,476
              203,236
Total Loans (Cost $2,736,775)           2,606,939
    
      Expiration
date
Shares  
Rights: 0.00%          
Communication services: 0.00%          
Diversified telecommunication services: 0.00%          
Intelsat Jackson Holdings SA Series A      12-5-2025       460           0
Intelsat Jackson Holdings SA Series B      12-5-2025       460           0
Total Rights (Cost $0)                   0
    
      Maturity
date
Principal  
Yankee corporate bonds and notes: 3.40%          
Communication services: 0.46%          
Media: 0.21%          
Videotron Limited 144A   5.13 4-15-2027 $  270,000     253,125
Wireless telecommunication services: 0.25%          
Connect U.S. Finco LLC 144A   6.75 10-1-2026   100,000      91,698
Telesat Canada 144A   5.63 12-6-2026    70,000      40,809
VMED O2 UK Financing I plc 144A   4.75 7-15-2031     200,000     164,625
              297,132
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.

26  |  Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund


Portfolio of investments—August 31, 2022

    Interest
rate
Maturity
date
Principal Value
Energy: 0.45%          
Oil, gas & consumable fuels: 0.45%          
Baytex Energy Corporation 144A   8.75% 4-1-2027 $  275,000 $     281,188
Griffin Coal Mining Company Limited 144A   9.50 12-1-2016    61,339           0
Northriver Midstream Finance LP 144A   5.63 2-15-2026     270,000     259,200
              540,388
Financials: 0.30%          
Diversified financial services: 0.30%          
Castlelake Aviation Finance 144A   5.00 4-15-2027   170,000     146,597
New Red Finance Incorporated 144A   4.00 10-15-2030   135,000     109,561
New Red Finance Incorporated 144A   5.75 4-15-2025     110,000     110,550
              366,708
Health care: 0.71%          
Biotechnology: 0.19%          
Grifols Escrow Issuer SA 144A   4.75 10-15-2028   265,000     220,891
Pharmaceuticals: 0.52%          
Bausch Health Companies Incorporated 144A   4.88 6-1-2028   125,000      86,408
Bausch Health Companies Incorporated 144A   5.25 1-30-2030   410,000     151,700
Teva Pharmaceutical Finance Netherlands III BV    4.75 5-9-2027    35,000      30,614
Teva Pharmaceutical Finance Netherlands III BV    6.00 4-15-2024     370,000     359,411
              628,133
Industrials: 1.15%          
Aerospace & defense: 0.19%          
Bombardier Incorporated 144A   7.88 4-15-2027   240,000     229,812
Airlines: 0.43%          
Air Canada Pass-Through Trust Series 2020-1 Class C 144A   10.50 7-15-2026 340,000 356,283
VistaJet Malta Finance PLC 144A   6.38 2-1-2030 180,000 154,800
          511,083
Electrical equipment: 0.31%          
Sensata Technologies BV 144A   4.00 4-15-2029 270,000 233,105
Sensata Technologies BV 144A   5.00 10-1-2025 45,000 44,056
Sensata Technologies BV 144A   5.63 11-1-2024 100,000 100,424
          377,585
Trading companies & distributors: 0.22%          
Fly Leasing Limited 144A   7.00 10-15-2024 485,000 266,750
Materials: 0.33%          
Containers & packaging: 0.22%          
Ardagh Packaging Finance plc 144A   4.13 8-15-2026 100,000 86,267
Ardagh Packaging Finance plc 144A   5.25 4-30-2025 25,000 23,645
Ardagh Packaging Finance plc 144A   6.00 6-15-2027 155,000 151,937
          261,849
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.

Allspring Utilities and High Income Fund  |  27


Portfolio of investments—August 31, 2022

    Interest
rate
Maturity
date
Principal Value
Metals & mining: 0.11%          
Constellium SE 144A   5.88% 2-15-2026 $  140,000 $     134,648
Total Yankee corporate bonds and notes (Cost $4,958,816)           4,088,104
    
    Yield   Shares  
Short-term investments: 2.69%          
Investment companies: 2.69%          
Allspring Government Money Market Fund Select Class ♠∞##   2.09   3,237,394   3,237,394
Total Short-term investments (Cost $3,237,394)           3,237,394
Total investments in securities (Cost $131,648,122) 124.76%       149,914,113
Other assets and liabilities, net (24.76)       (29,754,419)
Total net assets 100.00%       $120,159,694
    
Security is valued using significant unobservable inputs.
Non-income-earning security
144A The security may be resold in transactions exempt from registration, normally to qualified institutional buyers, pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933.