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Verizon calls in additional $3.4 billion discretionary pension contribution in first quarter

Mandatory pension funding expected to be minimal through 2020

Verizon Communications Inc., New York, made $3.4 billion in discretionary pension contributions in the first quarter, said Robert A. Varettoni, in an email.

The contribution is in addition to the $600 million in minimum funding required for 2017, giving the company a total of $4 billion to be contributed this calendar year, Mr. Varettoni said.

The contribution was “was debt funded and part of use of proceeds in (the $11 billion) offering we did in March to also fund the Yahoo acquisition,” he said.

The company had originally announced in its fourth-quarter earnings report in January that it just intended to make the minimum required contribution of $600 million in 2017. The 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday that announced the discretionary contribution said the additional injection would mean that mandatory pension funding would be minimal through 2020.

As of Dec. 31, defined benefit plan assets totaled $14.596 billion, while projected benefit obligations totaled $21.048 billion, for a funding ratio of 69.3%, according to the company's most recent 10-K filing.

As of Sept. 30, the plans had an asset allocation of 39.2% domestic fixed income, 17.4% private equity, 16.1% domestic equity, 8.8% real estate, 8.5% other alternatives, 8.2% international equity and 1.9% global/international fixed income, according to Pensions & Investments data.