Sears Holdings Corp., Hoffman Estates, Ill., expects to contribute $275 million to its U.S. pension fund in 2015, said a Sears spokesman. The company contributed $417 million to its U.S. pension fund in 2014, according to a transcript of the company's fourth-quarter earnings call released Thursday.
In 2014, Sears' unfunded pension obligation rose to $2.3 billion from $1.5 billion the previous year due to new mortality assumptions and a 90-basis-point drop in the discount rate, which raised pension liabilities by $300 million and $500 million, respectively, a company statement said.
As of Jan. 1, the company's U.S. pension fund had $3.62 billion in assets and $5.88 billion in liabilities, for a funding ratio of 61.56%, said documents prepared for the earnings call.
As of Feb. 1, 2014, the plan had an asset allocation of 59% fixed income and other debt securities, 36% equity and 5% other, according to the company's most recent 10-K filing.
The U.S. pension plan was frozen for all employees on Jan. 1, 2006.
In 2012, Sears announced a lump-sum offer to about 86,000 eligible terminated vested U.S. pension fund participants, representing about $2 billion of the company's total qualified pension fund liabilities. About $1.5 billion total was paid to employees who accepted the offer in December 2012, according to the latest 10-K.