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DEFINED BENEFIT

Travelers considers voluntary contributions to pension fund of up to $100 million

Travelers Cos. Inc., St. Paul, Minn., is considering making annual voluntary contributions of $75 million to $100 million to its defined benefit plan beginning this year, the company said in its annual report released Thursday.

In 2016, Travelers contributed $200 million to the pension fund, which had $3.387 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, according to Travelers' 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Travelers said it had no minimum funding requirement for its DB plan last year, this year or most likely in 2018. “The company has not determined whether or not additional voluntary funding will be made in 2017,” Travelers said in the filing.

The pension plan was 101% funded as of Dec. 31, compared to 96% 12 months earlier.

Its expected rate of return will be 7% in 2017, the same as in 2016 but down from 7.25% in 2015. The discount rate for the pension fund was 4.23% vs. 4.5% a year earlier.

The pension fund's asset allocation as of Dec. 31 was 58% equities, 34% fixed income, and the remainder in cash and short-term investments.