Several companies recently reported making contributions to their pension funds.
H.J. Heinz Co., Pittsburgh, contributed $202 million to its $1.5 billion pension plan for fiscal 2004, which ended April 28; the company contributed $224 million in fiscal 2003, according to its 10K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The plan had an unfunded liability of $122 million at the end of fiscal 2004. The company expects to make a $40 million contribution for fiscal 2005.
Campbell Soup Co., Camden, N.J., contributed $50 million to its $1.47 billion U.S. pension plan in its fiscal 2004 first quarter, according to the company's 10-Q filing with the SEC. Campbell does not expect to make additional contributions during the fiscal year, which ends Aug. 1.
Austin, Minn.-based Hormel Foods Corp. contributed $26.8 million to its pension plans in April, the company said in its latest quarterly report. The company does not expect to make further contributions during fiscal year 2004, which ends Oct. 24, the report said.
Hormel's net periodic benefit cost was $6.3 million for the three months and $12.9 million for the six months ended April 24, compared with a three-month expense of $3.4 million and a six-month expense of $6.8 million a year earlier. The company lowered its discount rate to 6.5% in 2003, down from 7% in 2002; the expected rate of return was dropped to 8.6% for 2003, from 9.5% in 2002, according to the most recent annual report.
Hormel recorded total pension plan assets of $87 million and total liabilities of $614 million on Oct. 25, 2003, according to its annual report.
Alliant Techsystems Inc., Edina, Minn., expects to contribute $45 million to its pension plans before March 31, 2005, according to its annual report. Alliant is legally required to contribute $18 million during its 2005 fiscal year, the report said. The company contributed $65.6 million to its plans during fiscal 2004, the report said.
The company maintained an expected 9% long-term rate of return on plan assets in fiscal 2005 but lowered its discount rate to 6.25% from 6.75% in fiscal 2004, according to the report. Alliant said it expects a 2005 pension expense of $33 million, compared with $11 million the previous year, the report said.
Alliant had $1.5 billion in total pension assets as of March 31, with almost $1.9 billion in liabilities, according to the report.