Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Allentown, Pa., froze its defined benefit plans to U.S. salaried employees hired on or after Nov. 1, according to the firm's annual report filed today with the SEC. The filing said company officials expect the firm will contribute about $80 million in cash to its pension plans in fiscal 2005. The filing, for the year ended Sept. 30, said the company contributed $277 million in fiscal 2004 and $61.6 million in fiscal 2003. The company's defined benefit plans had about $1.5 billion in assets as of Sept. 30 and $2.37 billion in projected benefit obligations as of the same date.
The defined contribution plan has about $1.1 billion in assets as of August 2003, according to Money Market Directory.
Officials estimated the company will incur about $112 million in pension expense during fiscal 2005, down from $130.1 million in fiscal 2004. The annual report said pension expense in 2004 included a $12.5 million charge for special termination benefits, settlements and curtailments.