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Lockheed Martin offers lump sums to some former salaried non-union employees

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin Corp., Bethesda, Md.., is offering some former salaried non-union employees a voluntary lump-sum pension benefit payout, confirmed company spokeswoman Joann Grbach.

The offer went out to about 33,000 former employees who have a vested pension benefit and have yet to retire, who terminated employment before Dec. 31, 2011. The deadline for responses is Friday.

“The voluntary option provides financial flexibility to those no longer with the company, and allows us to balance our business needs and strengthen the plan by reducing its size and the potential future volatility of the plan’s obligation,” according to a statement e-mailed by Ms. Grbach.

The company has no target for the number of employees it expects would take the offer, Ms. Grbach wrote.

As of Dec. 31, the fair value of plan assets of the firm’s defined benefit plans totaled $27.3 billion, while projected benefit obligations totaled $40.6 billion, for a funding ratio of 67.2%.

The company contributed $1.11 billion to the plans in the first half of 2012, $2.29 billion in 2011 and $2.24 billion in 2010.

A phone call to Christopher Li, president and chief investment officer of Lockheed Martin Investment Management Co., a Lockheed Martin unit that manages the pension assets, was referred to Ginny Vasan, vice president-corporate identity, who did not return a phone call by press time.