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Contributions

Linde could contribute up to $160 million to global DB plans this year

Linde PLC, Guildford, U.K., expects to contribute between $95 million and $160 million to its global pension plans in 2019, said a 10-K filed with the SEC on Monday.

The chemical company contributed $87 million, $19 million and $11 million to its pension plans in 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively.

The company had a total $8.24 billion in global defined benefit assets as of Dec. 31. Of that total, it had $1.952 billion in U.S. assets and $2.508 billion in pension obligations, for a funding ratio of 77.8%, up from 74.7% in 2017. Meanwhile, Linde had $6.292 billion in international plan assets and $7.533 billion in pension obligations, for a funding ratio of 83.5%, up from 78.2% the year before.

The company gained nearly $6 billion in international assets as a result of Praxair Inc. and Linde AG merging in October.

The discount rate used to determine benefit obligations for its U.S. DB plans was 4.2% of Dec. 31, up from 3.61% as of the same time the year prior. The discount rate for its international plans was 2.72%, down from 4.46% as of Dec. 31, 2017.

Linde's asset allocation target for its U.S. plans in 2018 was 40% to 60% equities, 30% to 50% fixed income, and 5% to 15% other investments. Its asset allocation target for its international plans was 30% to 50% fixed income, 30% to 40% other investments and 15% to 25% equities.