Several pension plan sponsors made recent SEC filings indicating actions taken with their pension funds:
• Lucent Technologies Inc., Murray Hill, N.J., lowered its expected rate of return on plan assets to 8.5% from 8.75%, according to its quarterly 10-Q report filed Wednesday with the SEC. The company does not expect to make a contribution to its qualified U.S. pension plans in fiscal years 2005, 2006 or 2007. Its fiscal year ends Sept. 30. The company has a $31.3 billion defined benefit plan.
• Eli Lilly and Co., Indianapolis, plans to contribute $130 million to $205 million to its defined benefit pension plans and post-retirement health benefit plans in 2005, according to its 10-Q filing today. It already contributed $51.9 million to its international pension plans as of March 31, said Terra Fox, spokeswoman.
Ms. Fox said it was premature to break out the expected contribution between the pension plans and health plans. But according to its recent10-K filing, the company expected to contribute $100 million to each type of plan this year. In 2004, it contributed $784 million to its pension plans and $204 million to its health plans.
The company has $4.797 billion in pension assets and $5.19 billion in liabilities. Its health plans have $745 million in assets and $1.388 billion in liabilities.
• SBC Communications Inc., San Antonio, contributed $150 million to its $18.9 billion pension plan in the first quarter, according to its 8-K filing Tuesday. No additional payment was expected for non-qualified plans.
The expected long-term rate of return rate for 2005 is 8.25%, down from 8.5% last year, according to the filing. The actual average return on pension plan assets over the last 10 and 15 years has been 12.4% and 11%, respectively, according to the filing.
• Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Akron, plans to contribute $470 million to $505 million to its U.S. and international pension plans in 2005 to maintain funding levels under ERISA, according to its most recent quarterly report. Goodyear has about $3.1 billion in pension assets. The company estimates that it will have to pay about $3.5 billion in pension and other post-retirement payments over the next decade. It contributed about $25 million to its international pension plans in the first quarter.
• AK Steel Corp. voluntarily contributed $150 million to its $3.1 billion defined benefit plan to reduce the company's contribution requirements to its plan under the Pension Funding Equity Act of 2004. The act temporarily eased funding requirements for corporate pension plans in exchange for larger cash contributions to the plans. According to the company's most recent annual report, the payment reduced the company's required plan contribution for 2006 to about $126 million.