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Pension Risk Transfer

Weyerhaeuser reduces pension liabilities by $660 million

Weyerhaeuser Co., Seattle, reduced its U.S. pension plan liabilities by $660 million through lump sums in the fourth quarter, the timberland company disclosed Friday in an 8-K filing with the SEC.

The lump sums were offered earlier in the quarter to about 20,000 former employees vested in the plan who have yet to retire. The company did not say what percentage of those employees took the offer.

Friday's filing follows an 8-K filed Tuesday in which Weyerhaeuser said it had entered into an agreement to purchase a group annuity contract from Athene Annuity & Life Co. to transfer about $1.5 billion in U.S. pension plan liabilities. That transaction is expected to close later this quarter and will transfer benefit payments of about 28,500 U.S. retirees and beneficiaries who receive less than $1,085 a month, spokeswoman Laura Smith said Tuesday in an email.

As of Dec. 31, Weyerhaeuser's U.S. and Canadian pension plan assets totaled $5.5 billion, while projected benefit obligations totaled $6.8 billion, for a funding ratio of 81.1%, according to the company's most recent 10-K filing. The company did not separate assets by country.