Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc., Cleveland, plans to terminate its U.S. pension plan effective Dec. 31. confirmed spokesman Gregory S. Coleman.
The company approved the amendment to terminate the plan in March, the utility disclosed in its 10-Q filing with the SEC on Monday.
The termination of the Lincoln Electric Co. Retirement Annuity Program is expected to take about two years to complete, the filing said.
Pension plan obligations will be distributed through a combination of lump-sum payments to participants that elect them and the purchase of a group annuity contract from an insurer to take over the benefit payments of the rest of the participants.
In 2015, Lincoln Electric had already settled $425 million in outstanding U.S. pension obligations through the purchase of a group annuity contract from Principal Financial Group for about 1,900 U.S. retirees and beneficiaries who retired on or before June 1, 2015. That transaction transferred about 47% of the pension plan's liabilities at the time.
As of Dec. 31, U.S. plan assets totaled $590 million, while projected benefit obligations totaled $493 million, for a funding ratio of 119.7%.