Safeway Inc., Pleasanton, Calif., contributed $253.8 million last year to its unionized workers' multiemployer pension plans, an 8.2% increase from 2005, according to the company's annual report. Safeway officials believe a number of plans are underfunded, and "as a result, contributions to these plans may continue to increase," according to the report.
Safeway expects to contribute about $31.8 million this year to its single-employer plans, primarily in Canada. That's down slightly from $33.1 million in 2006, but up from its 2005 contribution of $22.4 million.
Safeway had $2.2 billion in pension assets as of Dec. 31, up from $2.1 billion the year before. The company moved to a $33.1 million overfunded position last year, from a $7.3 million pension deficit the prior year.