MINNEAPOLIS - General Mills Inc. reported its pension plans were underfunded by $224 million as of May 25, and the company expects to make cash contributions of less than $10 million in fiscal 2004, according to the company's 10-K filing with the SEC.
The company contributed $9 million to its pension plans for active employees in fiscal 2003 and $7 million in fiscal 2002. Its other post-retirement benefit plans were underfunded by $612 million as of May 25. General Mills expects to make cash contributions of about $20 million for each of the next three years to its post-retirement funds, compared with contributions of $2 million in fiscal 2003 and $29 million in fiscal 2002.
The company reduced its expected rate of return on assets to 9.6% for fiscal 2004, compared with 10.4% on assets of active employee pension plans and 10% on post-retirement plan assets in fiscal 2003 and 2002.
As of May 25, cumulative losses for fiscal 2003 were $1.2 billion for the pension plans and $343 million for the post-retirement plans. General Mills had $3.9 billion in employee retirement benefit assets as of Sept. 30, 2002.