Ashland Inc., Covington, Ky., announced it paid out $475 million to participants in its U.S. defined benefit plans who accepted the company’s lump-sum or immediate reduced annuity offer, said a recent 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The offer, announced in May, was made to a total of 21,000 terminated vested pension fund participants who had yet to retire. About 12,000 participants, or 57% of eligible participants, accepted the offer.
As of Sept. 30, global plan assets totaled $2.95 billion and projected benefit obligations, $3.82 billion, for a funding ratio of 77.2%. A breakdown of individual plan assets was not made immediately available.
For its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, Ashland contributed $596 million and $14 million to its qualified and non-qualified U.S. and non-U.S. pension funds, respectively, which includes the lump-sum and annuity payments, according to the 10-K.
For the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2016, the company plans to contribute about $15 million each to its non-qualified U.S. pension funds and all non-U.S. plans. Funding requirements for the qualified U.S. plans were eliminated for 2016 as a result of the lump-sum offer.
An Ashland spokesman could not immediately be reached for additional information.