Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Ill., expects to contribute another $1 billion to its worldwide defined benefit plans in 2010, according to its fourth-quarter earning report released today.
The company contributed $1.1 billion last year, through a combination of cash and company stock that included 18.2 million of Caterpillar shares, valued at $650 million, in May. The contribution and “strong asset returns, including the appreciation of Caterpillar stock, contributed to the increase in funded status” to 76% as of Dec. 31, up from 61% at year-end 2008, according to the earnings release.
Caterpillar's U.S. defined benefit plans totaled $8.8 billion as of Sept. 30. Worldwide pension assets totaled $8.9 billion as of Dec. 31, 2008, the most recent figure available from its 2009 annual report.