Royal Dutch Shell PLC contributed €2 billion ($2.8 billion) to its Dutch pension fund, Stichting Pensioenfonds Shell, according to the July monthly newsletter to pension fund members.
The contribution, made in the second quarter, was part of a recovery plan required by the Dutch government after the fund fell below the 105% solvency level. At year-end 2008, the fund reported it was 80% funded down from 180% a year earlier, according to its annual report. Assets of The Hague, Netherlands, fund also fell 45% to €10.6 billion at the end of 2008 vs. €19.2 billion a year earlier.
The funding ratio had risen to 105% as of June 30. “Shell will make additional phased payments over the coming months if the funding ratio drops below 105%,” the newsletter said. Shell also agreed to increase the employer contribution to 32.1% of a worker's salary as of July 1. The contribution already was increased on Jan. 1 to 23.6% of salary, from 5%.
In a separate financial statement released April 29, Shell announced it would set aside $5 billion for 2009 contributions to its pension funds globally, an increase from $1.6 billion in 2008.
Bart van der Steenstraten, managing director for Shell Asset Management Co., could not be reached for comment on how the contributions might be invested. SAMCO manages the assets for the pension fund.