Ford Motor Co.s pension assets declined by 6.7% in the first six months of the year, and its U.S. plans are about $3.2 billion underfunded, Ford officials said during an earnings presentation to analysts. Ford began the year overfunded by $600 million, which lessened the impact of market losses, said David Reuter, the companys financial news manager.
The Dearborn, Mich., company does not anticipate changes to this years pension expense and does not expect to make a cash contribution this year, Mr. Reuter said. Ford officials told analysts that if present conditions continue and if the full years loss in 2002 is 6.7%, pension expenses next year likely will increase by about $125 million. Under the current scenario, Ford officials do not anticipate having to make a pension contribution until 2006, analysts were told.
Ford had $35.8 billion in defined benefit assets as of Dec. 31, the latest figures available.