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Northrop Grumman fires up $250 million discretionary pension contribution

Northrop Grumman Corp., Falls Church, Va., plans to make a $250 million discretionary contribution to its pension plans in 2018, company spokesman Mark Root said in an email Wednesday.

The global aerospace and defense technology company originally announced its intention in its 10-K filing in January to make a minimum required contribution of $87 million.

Northrop Grumman contributed a total of $596 million to the plans in 2017, which included a voluntary contribution of $500 million. The company has both U.S. and non-U.S. plans and did not break down assets or contributions by region.

As of Dec. 31, pension plan assets totaled $27.23 billion, while projected benefit obligations totaled $31.97 billion, for a funding ratio of 85.2%, up from 80.2% a year earlier, according to the 10-K filing. In 2017, the company's discount rate was 3.68%, down from 4.19% the previous year.

Also as of Dec. 31, the asset allocation of the plans was 26.8% fixed income, 23.7% international equities, 15.5% domestic equities, 14.5% cash and cash equivalents, 8.5% real estate, 7.3% private equity, 3.1% opportunistic investments and 0.6% hedge funds.