Alcoa Corp., Pittsburgh, purchased a group annuity contract from Athene Annuity and Life Co. to transfer about $290 million in U.S. pension plan liabilities, the company disclosed in a news release Wednesday.
Athene will assume responsibility for benefit payments to about 10,500 retirees and beneficiaries in October, the release said. Alcoa also made a discretionary contribution of $100 million to the plans.
The aluminum company earlier this year purchased group annuity contracts from Sun Life Financial, Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Co. and Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. to transfer a total of about $555 million in Canadian defined benefit plan obligations. Those insurance companies began making benefit payments to a total of about 2,100 retirees and their beneficiaries in July.
Alcoa announced in January it planned to freeze the defined benefit plans for its U.S. and Canadian salaried employees, effective Jan. 1, 2021, after which point the 800 affected employees will be moved to country-specific defined contribution plans.
As of Dec. 31, Alcoa's defined benefit plan assets totaled $5.322 billion, while projected benefit obligations totaled $7.639 billion, for a funding ratio of 69.7%. A split between U.S. and Canadian plans was not available.
Alcoa spokesman Jim Beck declined to provide any information beyond the filing.