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Pension Funds

BB&T deposits $549 million into pension plan

BB&T Corp., Winston-Salem, N.C., contributed $549 million to its defined benefit plan in the first quarter of 2019 and may contribute an additional $126 million this year, according to a Form 10-K filed Tuesday.

The company has one qualified defined benefit plan that is open to new hires.

The pension fund had assets of $5.97 billion and liabilities of $4.69 billion as of Dec. 31, for a funded status of 127.3%, compared to 127.7% the year before.

The company said in the regulatory filing that its expected rate of return in 2019 is 7%. The target asset allocation ranges in 2018 were 30% to 50% U.S. equities, 11% to 18% international equities, 35% to 53% fixed income, and up to 14% alternatives, including real estate, hedge funds and private equity.

The discount rate at the end of 2018 was 3.79%.

On Feb. 7, BB&T and SunTrust Banks, Atlanta, agreed to an all-stock merger, creating a financial-services firm with about $17.4 billion in retirement plan assets. The deal, which will create the sixth-largest U.S. bank based on assets and deposits, is expected to close in the fourth quarter, but no further details on how the retirement plans will be managed was made available.

The $3.1 billion SunTrust Banks Inc. Retirement Plan is a cash balance plan frozen in December 2011.