The following corporate pension plans made contributions in 2003 or are planning to do so in the future:
-- Boeing Co., Chicago, contributed $1.7 billion to its pension plans in 2003, the company announced. The company also expects to contribute about $100 million to the plans this year and less than $500 million in 2005, although it will evaluate making additional discretionary contributions, Boeing said in a statement. The plans' investments returned 17% for the year ended Sept. 30.
Boeing had $28.8 billion in pension assets and $35.9 billion in pension liabilities as of Sept. 30, 2002, its latest available totals. A Boeing spokeswoman said officials wouldn't provide further details.
-- SBC Communications Inc., San Antonio, contributed $1.6 billion to its pension and other retiree benefit plans last year, including $700 million December alone, the company announced. Randall Stephenson, chief financial officer, told analysts the $36.5 billion plan had not made a decision on pension contributions for this year, said Larry Solomon, spokesman. SBC also reported its fourth-quarter earnings were lowered by 9 cents a share because of pension and retiree benefit costs. Earnings are expected to increase 9 cents to 11 cents a share this year because of reduced pension and retiree benefit costs, the company said. The reductions stem from medical plan changes and expected changes in federal pension funding legislation.
-- Honeywell International Inc., Morris Township, N.J., contributed $500 million to its $17.5 billion pension plan in the fourth quarter, bringing its 2003 contribution to $670 million, according to a news release. The fourth-quarter contribution will be the last for the "foreseeable" future, David Anderson, CFO, said Jan. 29 in a conference call to discuss the company's earnings. The contribution "significantly mitigates future funding requirements," David Cote, chief executive officer, said in the news release.
-- Continental Airlines Inc., Houston, plans to contribute $300 million to its $866 million pension fund this year, down from its earlier estimate of $529 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Continental contributed $372 million in 2003.
-- Maytag Corp., Newton, Iowa, contributed $268 million to its pension fund last year, nearly double its earlier forecast of $135 million, the company reported. Its pension expense for 2003 was $65 million, up from nearly $52.6 million the previous year. Maytag had pension assets of $854 million and liabilities of nearly $1.5 billion as of Dec. 31, 2002, the latest company data. Maytag officials couldn't be reached for comment.
-- United States Steel Corp., Pittsburgh, expects $205 million in total expense related to its $10.1 billion domestic defined benefit plan in 2004, up $110 million from last year, according to the company's 2003 earnings report. The pension expenses include $151 million for active employees and $54 million for retirees, and excludes charges related to U.S. Steel's 2003 work force reductions. The company also expects to make a voluntary $75 million cash contribution to its defined benefit pension fund in 2004. Last November, U.S. Steel contributed $60 million in timber rights to its two major defined benefit plans, which were merged later in the fourth quarter.
-- Rockwell Collins Corp., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, contributed $127 million to its pension plans in the fourth quarter, according to filings with the SEC. The company contributed $125 million to its funded qualified plans and $2 million to its unfunded non-qualified plans. It expects to contribute $6 million more to its non-qualified plans by Sept. 30. The company made $123 million in pension contributions in the year ended Sept. 30. The plans have a combined $1.9 billion in assets. Unfunded liabilities totaled $375 million as of Dec. 31. Rockwell Collins officials couldn't be reached for comment.
-- Olin Corp., Norwalk, Conn., will contribute $125 million in proceeds from a common stock offering to its $1 billion pension plan, according to a news release. Richard Koch, Olin's vice president of investor relations and public affairs, said the contribution will lower the company's expected pension expense for the year to roughly $15 million, from the $25 million originally estimated. Pension contributions are expected to be minimal through 2008, according to the news release.