Sunoco Inc. and Marathon Oil Corp. expect to make pension contributions this year, largely due to equity market declines in 2002.
Officials for Sunoco, Philadelphia, plan to make a $50 million contribution this year after taking a $176 million after-tax charge to shareholder equity related to the funded status of the $2.5 billion plan, according to the company's fourth-quarter earnings report. Sonoco made a pension contribution of about $51 million in the third quarter of 2002, after its pension assets declined by about $110 million during the first 10 months of 2002, according to a Sunoco 10-Q filing.
Officials for Houston-based Marathon said they expect pension and other post-retirement expenses to increase by $75 million this year and will make a cash contribution of $35 million to its $940 million pension plan by the end of the third quarter. The company will lower its discount rate assumption this year to 6.5% from 7% and reduce its expected rate of return on assets to 9% from 9.5%, they said.