A potential merger of Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp. would combine companies with defined benefit assets totaling an estimated $11.7 billion and defined contribution funds of $8.8 billion.
Northwest declined to comment on speculation about merger talks today with Delta. Delta media relations officials couldnt be reached.
The PBGC received a 20.7% stake in Delta for taking over the underfunded pilots plan as part of the airlines reorganization plan, according to a P&I report in May. The current status of that stake could not be learned; PBGC officials couldnt be reached for comment.
Delta had $4.9 billion in defined benefit assets and $7.3 billion in pension liabilities as of Dec. 31, according to a February SEC filing. Delta terminated its pilots plan in 2006 and froze its non-pilot plan in 2005. Delta has $4.8 billion in 401(k) plan assets.
Northwest has an estimated $6.8 billion in pension assets and $4 billion in defined contribution assets. Northwest froze its plans for pilots, other salaried employees and labor union employees between 2005 and 2006.