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Ford sells $2 billion in 30-year bonds to help fund defined benefit plans

Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich., on Thursday planned to sell $2 billion in 30-year bonds to finance accelerated contributions to its worldwide defined benefit pension plans this year and continue derisking its pension obligations.

Ford also plans to use an unspecified amount of the proceeds from the bond sale to redeem higher-cost outstanding debt, according to a prospectus the company filed with the SEC.

Ford expected to make a total of $3.4 billion in contributions to its worldwide funded pension plans in 2012, according to its latest 10-Q report, filed Nov. 2. That total includes $2.5 billion that Ford contributed to its worldwide plans, including $1.5 billion in discretionary contributions to its U.S. plans, in the first nine months of last year and $900 million to its worldwide plans, including $500 million to its U.S. plans, Ford expected to make in the last three months of the year.

Ford has no required contributions in 2013 under pension regulations, according to the 10-Q.

Ford’s U.S. pension plans had a combined $39.4 billion in assets and $48.8 billion in liabilities, while its non-U.S. plans had $19.1 billion in assets and $25.1 billion in liabilities. The pension plan values are as of Dec. 31, 2011, according to its 10-K filing.

Bloomberg News contributed to this story.