Several companies have announced contributions, or planned contributions, to their defined benefit plans in recent financial filings.
Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich., announced that contributions to its automotive-sector global pension plans totaled $200 million in the second quarter, bringing contributions for the first six months of the year to $800 million, confirmed spokesman Bill Collins.
Ford's U.S. defined benefit plans totaled $45.8 billion as of Dec. 31 and non-U.S. plans totaled $22.4 billion, according to the company's 2007 annual report, the most recent data available. The size of the automotive-sector plans could not be learned.
Ford said it expects to contribute a total of $2.3 billion to its worldwide pension funds in 2008, according to the annual report.
The news was part of the firm's second-quarter earnings statement.
Northrop Grumman Corp., Los Angeles, contributed $50 million to its $22.9 billion defined benefit plans as of June 30, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company must contribute about $120 million this year to meet minimum ERISA funding levels, the company noted in the filing.
Separately, Northrop Grumman reported that for the six months ended June 30, pension expense under GAAP accounting fell to $113 million from $174 million for the first half of 2007. The reduction was the result of returns that beat estimates as well as a higher discount-rate assumption and pension plan design changes in 2008.
Boeing Co., Chicago, plans to contribute $500 million to its pension plans next year, according to a company financial report. The company, which has $50.4 billion in pension assets, expects to make no contributions this year beyond the $517 million it contributed in the first three months of the year, the report said.
AK Steel Corp., West Chester, Ohio, will make an early $75 million contribution to its pension trust fund in the third quarter, spokesman Alan McCoy said. The contribution will reduce AK Steel's 2009 funding requirements.
The company already fulfilled its 2008 funding mandate with a $75 million contribution in the second quarter this year. Mr. McCoy would not disclose the total 2008 mandate.
The company's defined benefit pension fund had $2.9 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, Mr. McCoy said.