Officials at Deere & Co., Moline, Ill., expect to contribute $100 million to the firm's core U.S. pension plans in fiscal 2005, said Ken Golden, manager-public relations. The company contributed $1.5 billion to the plans in fiscal 2004, which ended Oct. 31. Deere contributed $745 million in 2003 and $228 million in 2002, according to its fiscal 2003 annual report. As of Oct. 31, 2003, the most recent data available, Deere had pension assets of $5.99 billion and pension obligations of $7.79 billion.
Dennis R. Schwartz, vice president-pension fund and investments, couldn't be reached for comment.