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UPS makes additional $5 billion U.S. pension contribution in 2017

United Parcel Service Inc., Atlanta, contributed an additional $5 billion to its U.S. defined benefit plans at the end of 2017, said Glenn Zaccara, company spokesman, in an email.

The contribution brought the total for the calendar year to $7.3 billion, according to an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. The company had originally announced in its most recent 10-K filing it planned to contribute $2.3 billion to the plans in 2017.

The additional contribution was made in order to take advantage of tax deductions before the new tax legislation was due to take effect in 2018, Mr. Zaccara confirmed.

As of Dec. 31, 2016, U.S. defined benefit plan assets totaled $31.22 billion, while projected benefit obligations totaled $41.07 billion, for a funding ratio of 76%, slightly lower than the overall 78.4% funding ratio the year before, according to the 10-K.

As of Sept. 30, UPS had $36.93 billion in U.S. pension assets, according to Pensions & Investments data. The actual allocation as of then was 23.97% domestic fixed income, 20.36% domestic equities, 18.17% international equities, 9.6% other alternatives, 9.47% global equities, 6.04% cash, 5.92% private equity, 5.36% real estate equity, 0.96% risk parity and 0.15% global/international fixed income.

UPS has announced other moves to derisk the plans and lower their overall liabilities, along with the large contributions. In the fourth quarter of 2016, UPS made $685 million in lump-sum payments to about 22,000 former employees in the U.S. DB plans, and the company also announced in June 2017 that it would freeze two DB plans — the UPS Retirement Plan and the UPS Excess Coordinating Benefit Plan — for non-union employees, effective in 2023.