Continental Airlines Inc., Houston, plans to contribute $258 million to its defined benefit plans in 2006, according to its annual report filed today with the SEC. The company, which has $1.4 billion in pension assets, also plans to contribute about $1.54 billion over the next 10 years to meet its minimum pension funding obligations in addition to the expected 2006 contribution, including: $318 million in 2007, $376 million in 2008, $262 million in 2009, $98 million in 2010 and $242 million in later years, according to the filing. The contribution forecast is based on the company's current return assumption of 9% and assumes no legislative changes in pension funding requirements.
The pension plans' underfunded status declined to $1.2 billion at the end of 2005 from $1.6 billion at the end of 2004, according to the filing. The plans have 49% of assets in U.S. equities, 21% in international equities, 22% in fixed income and 8% in "other" categories.