It is the latest in a long series of derisking efforts by the defense contractor that has also pulled the trigger on a number of pension buyout transactions.
In June 2022, Lockheed Martin purchased group annuity contracts from Athene Holding to transfer about $4.3 billion in U.S. pension plan liabilities. That purchase transferred the benefit-paying responsibilities for about 13,600 U.S. retirees and beneficiaries to Athene's wholly owned subsidiaries Athene Annuity and Life Co. and Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Co. of New York.
That was Lockheed Martin's second buyout with the Athene subsidiaries after previously transferring the benefit-paying responsibilities of about 18,000 U.S. retirees and beneficiaries from the two pension plans to the insurers in August 2021, offloading $4.9 billion in pension liabilities.
Lockheed transferred $2.2 billion in plan liabilities to insurers in buyout and buy-in transactions in 2020 as well.
The company previously made a lump-sum offer in 2014, resulting in $427 million in payments to about 11,000 former employees that selected the offer (out of 37,000 who received it). That same year, in June, the company announced it would freeze its pension plan in early 2016 and start shifting active salaried workers to an enhanced defined contribution program.
As of Dec. 31, Lockheed Martin's U.S. pension plan assets totaled $22.8 billion, while projected benefit obligations totaled $28.96 billion, for a funding ratio of 78.7%, down from 80.9% a year earlier, according to the 10-K filing.