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Pension Funds

Willis Towers Watson preps $158 million contribution for pension plans in 2019

Willis Towers Watson, Arlington, Va., expects to contribute $158 million to its global defined benefit plans in 2019, a 10-K filed Thursday with the SEC said.

The amount includes $75 million to its U.K.-based pension plans, $60 million to its U.S.-based plans and $23 million to its other DB plans.

The company contributed $148 million to its pension plans in 2018, including $84 million to its U.K. plans, $50 million to its U.S.-based plans and $14 million to its other DB plans.

Willis Towers Watson had $3.403 billion in U.S. DB assets as of Dec. 31, with a projected benefit obligation of $4.187 billion, for a funding ratio of 81.3%, down slightly from 81.6% the year before. It had $4.402 billion in U.K.-based plan assets during this same period, with a projected benefit obligation of $3.666 billion, for a funding ratio of 120%, down from 121% in 2017. Its other assets were $486 million, with a projected benefit obligation of $728 million, for a funding ratio of 66.8%, down from 68.4% from the prior year.

The company's discount rates for its global pension plans as of Dec. 31 were 4.2% for its U.S. plans and 2.8% for its non-U.S. plans, up from 3.6% for its U.S. plans and 2.7% for its non-U.S. plans in 2017.

Willis Towers Watson's target allocation for its U.S. plans as of Dec. 31 was 43% fixed income, 28% other assets, 23% equities and 6% real estate.