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Delta charts $500 million contribution for pension plans in 2019

Delta Air Lines Inc., Atlanta, plans to contribute approximately $500 million to its defined benefit plans this year, the company disclosed in its 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company has no minimum funding requirements and contributed $523 million to its defined benefit plans in 2018. Delta contributed $3.56 billion to the plans in 2017, the Feb. 15 filing said.

As of Dec. 31, defined benefit plan assets totaled $13.46 billion, while benefit obligations totaled $19.81 billion, for a funding ratio of 68%, which remained the same from the previous year. The DB plans' discount rate as of Dec. 31 was 4.33%, up from 3.69% a year earlier.

Delta reported the asset allocation of its defined benefit plans and included some other post-employment benefit plans, for a total of $13.72 billion. Delta's defined benefit plans' asset allocation as of Dec. 31 was 38.4% in hedge funds and hedge fund-related strategies; 23% in fixed income and fixed-income-related instruments; 11.6% commingled funds, private equity and private equity-related instruments; 7.4% cash equivalents; 5.9% real assets; 5.1% other; 4.9% Delta common stock; and 3.6% equities and equity-related instruments.