3M Co., St. Paul, Minn., plans to contribute $100 million to $200 million in cash to its global defined benefit pension and post-retirement plans in 2015, the company said in a 10-K filing.
The company contributed $210 million to its U.S. and international pension funds and $5 million to post-retirement plans in 2014. In 2013, its U.S. and international pension funds received $476 million in contributions and its post-retirement plans, $6 million.
3M now also includes a lump-sum payment option for vested employees who retire as of Jan. 1, 2015, or later. The option was approved in the fourth quarter by 3M’s board of directors, the filing said. The change will reduce 3M’s projected benefit obligation liability by about $266 million.
The company’s U.S. pension fund had $14.6 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, up 5.4% from 12 months earlier; assets in its international pension funds totaled $1.636 billion, a 5.8% increase over year-end 2013.
3M’s worldwide pension and post-retirement plans were 85% funded as of Dec. 31; its U.S. defined benefit plan was 92% funded as of that date, and its international pension plans were 85% funded, the 10-K said.
The U.S. pension fund returned 13% in 2014 through a liability-matching investment strategy.
The expected long-term rate of return for the U.S. plan is an annualized 7.75%, unchanged from 2014. The plan’s discount rate was 4.1% as of Dec. 31, down 0.88 percentage points from year-end 2013.
3M’s $9.61 billion U.S. 401(k) plan received employer contributions of $153 million in 2014, up 12.5% from the previous year and 24% higher than in 2012.