Several companies announced contributions made to their pension plans in the third quarter, or those planned through the end of the year.
• 3M Co., St. Paul, Minn., made a special contribution of $300 million to its $8 billion U.S. defined benefit plan in the third quarter, according to the company's latest 10-Q filing. The company might make another contribution of an unspecified size to its U.S. plan later in the year, depending on the year-end funding status.
For the first nine months of this year, 3M contributed a total of $397 million to its U.S. and international pension plans and $105 million to its post-retirement plans.
• Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich. contributed $198 million to its defined benefit plans in the third quarter.
The company said in an SEC filing Nov. 1 that it contributed a total of $634 million for the nine months through Sept. 30. In a second-quarter SEC filing, Dow said it contributed $436 million during the first six months of 2005. The company also said it plans to contribute another $66 million to its pension plans before year's end.
Dow Chemical had total assets of $12.2 billion and was underfunded by roughly $2.8 billion at the end of 2004, according to its annual report.
• Chevron Corp., San Ramon, Calif., contributed $119 million to its global defined benefit plans for the year as of Sept. 30, including $54 million to its U.S. pension plan, according to the company's 10-Q filing.
The company still intends to contribute a total of $400 million by year's end, but that figure could change, the filing said.
At the end of 2004, Chevron had announced that it planned to contribute $250 million to its U.S. defined benefit plan and $150 million to its overseas plans.
Chevron and Unocal, which was acquired by Chevron earlier this year, had a combined $6.8 billion in U.S. pension assets and $2.7 billion in international pension assets as of Dec. 31, 2004, according to corporate filings.
• Xerox Corp., Stamford, Conn., expects to contribute $32 million to its pension plans during the remainder of this year, according to the company's third-quarter report. Xerox contributed $363 million to the plans in the first nine months of 2005, including $50 million to the company's U.K. pension plan in September "for the purpose of improving the funded status of the plan," according to the filing, which did not specify the plan's funded status. The quarterly report did not specify whether Xerox made any contributions to its U.S. plans in the third quarter.
Christa Carone, a Xerox spokeswoman, said the company does not disclose information on individual pension plans beyond what appears in the quarterly report.
Xerox officials estimated in the company's annual report earlier this year that 2005 pension contributions would total $114 million. The company contributed $230 million to U.S. plans in April to make those plans 100% funded "on a current liability basis under ERISA funding rules," accounting for the increase in contributions this year, according to the third-quarter report.
Xerox had about $8.1 billion in total pension assets and was underfunded by a combined $1.9 billion as of Dec. 31, according to the annual report.
• AT&T Corp., Bedminster, N.J., does not plan to contribute to its qualified U.S. pension plan this year but will contribute about $30 million to its non-qualified U.S. plan, according to its third-quarter 10-Q report filed with the SEC.
AT&T has $27.2 billion in pension assets, consisting of an $18.8 billion defined benefit plan and an $8.4 billion defined contribution plan. The company is being acquired by SBC Communications Inc., San Antonio. The combined firm plans to keep the AT&T name.
• Merck & Co. Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J., plans to contribute $515 million to its pension plans this year, according to an SEC filing. The company had $5.48 billion in pension assets at Dec. 31, 2004, and liabilities of $5.88 billion, according to its annual report.