General Motors Co., Detroit, projects making contributions to its U.S. pension plans that combined could range from $5.1 billion to $14.7 billion from 2012 through 2015, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The amount of the contributions depends on variations in projected investment return on its $85.9 billion U.S. pension fund and discount rate. For its U.S. pension plan, GM uses an assumed expected long-term investment return of 8.5% and a 5.52% discount rate.
GM could contribute $500 million in 2012, $100 million in 2012, $3.9 billion in 2014 and $5.4 billion in 2015, if its U.S. pension assets annual investment return is 8.4%. But if the return falls to 7.4%, contributions would rise to $800 million in 2012, $200 million in 2013, $4.1 billion in 2014 and $5.7 billion in 2015, according a Nov. 18 filing.
If the discount rate falls 50 basis points, the contributions for those four years would rise to a combined $14.7 billion. If the discount rate rises 50 basis points, the combined contributions would fall to $5.1 billion.
The filing didn't project contributions for 2011.