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Delta navigates $500 million contribution for pension plans

Delta Air Lines Inc., Atlanta, contributed $500 million to its defined benefit plans, the company disclosed in its 10-K filing.

The January contribution, the company noted, was voluntary because there were no minimum required contributions because Delta had contributed $3.56 billion to the plans in 2017. Delta contributed $1.32 billion to the plans in 2016.

As of Dec. 31, defined benefit plan assets totaled $14.744 billion, while projected benefit obligations totaled $21.696 billion, for a funding ratio of 68%, up from 49.4% the previous year. The DB plans' discount rate for 2017 was 3.69%, down from 4.2% in 2016.

Also in the Feb. 23 10-K filing, Delta reported the asset allocation of its defined benefit plans and included some other postemployment benefit plans, for a total of $15.322 billion. As of Dec. 31, the asset allocation was 31.1% hedge funds and related strategies; 25.9% fixed income and related instruments; 13.4% equities; 9.4% cash equivalents; 9% commingled funds, private equity and related instruments; 6% real assets and 5.2% Delta common stock.