E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Wilmington, Del., made a $1 billion voluntary contribution to its principal U.S. pension plan, according to a statement issued by the company today. "Given the current low interest rate environment, we decided it was financially prudent to make a voluntary contribution at this time," John Jessup, vice president and treasurer, said in the statement. Lori Captain, DuPont spokeswoman, said company officials decided to borrow funds to finance the contribution.
David Peet, DuPont director of investor relations, said company officials announced late last year that they "expected to have the opportunity" to make a voluntary pension contribution to the principal U.S. plan in 2005, but an amount wasn't specified at the time. No contributions to the principal U.S. plan were required this year.
DuPont had about $18.3 billion in combined pension assets as of Dec. 31, and the plans were underfunded by a combined $3.5 billion at the end of 2004, according to the company's annual report.