CHICAGO — UAL Corp. expects to contribute $4.8 billion to its U.S. defined benefit plans by the end of 2008, according to its third-quarter report. The parent company of United Airlines Inc. expects to face a federal funding surcharge imposed on plans less than 90% funded; UAL's four U.S. pension plans were about 50% funded on Dec. 31, according to its most recent annual report. The plans had combined assets of $6.3 billion on that date, said Jean Medina, spokeswoman. UAL Corp. made no cash contributions to its U.S. pension plans in the third quarter, Ms. Medina said.
In early October, UAL asked the IRS for a pension funding waiver so it could reschedule its pension plan contributions over a five-year period; a response is expected in six to eight months, the report said.