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Pension Risk Transfer

Ball Corp. buys group annuity to transfer $176 million in pension liabilities

Ball Corp. makes aluminum cans for beverage makers including Anheuser Busch Cos.

Ball Corp., Broomfield, Colo., purchased a group annuity contract from an insurance company to transfer about $176 million in U.S. pension plan liabilities, according to the company's 8-K filing with the SEC on Nov. 1.

The packaging company did not disclose the name of the insurance company or the number of retirees affected. It is the second group annuity contract purchase for the company in the past two years.

In August 2017, the company purchased a group annuity contract from Prudential Insurance Co. of America to transfer about $220 million in U.S. pension plan liabilities, affecting about 11,000 U.S. retirees from both Ball Corp. and Rexam PLC, which Ball Corp. purchased in 2016.

As of Dec. 31, U.S. pension plan assets totaled $2.42 billion, while projected benefit obligations totaled $3.06 billion, for a funding ratio of 79.1%, according to the company's most recent 10-K filing. Ball Corp. contributed $174 million to the U.S. plans in 2017, and in the filing said it planned to contribute $41 million to the plans in 2018.

Renee Robinson, company spokeswoman, could not be immediately reached to provide further information.