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Ford's Pension Plan Underfunding Rises

By Jerry Geisel, Business Insurance 


March 2, 2011 

The funded levels of Ford Motor Co.'s U.S. pension plans declined slightly in 2001, as liabilities grew more than plan assets.

At year-end 2010, the plans were underfunded by $6.7 billion, compared with $6.2 billion at year-end 2009, according to financial reports that Ford released Monday.

Benefit obligations jumped by about $2 billion, increasing to $46.6 billion in 2010, while the value of plan assets increased by roughly $1.5 billion, rising to nearly $40 billion.

By contrast, Ford rival General Motors Co. reported earlier that the funding levels of its U.S. pension plans improved significantly in 2010. At year-end, the plans were underfunded by $11.5 billion, a significant improvement from year-end 2009, when the plans had $16.2 billion in unfunded benefits.

GM bolstered the funded levels of its U.S. pension plans with $4 billion in cash contributions made late last year.

Ford didn't disclose the amount it contributed last year to its U.S. pension plans but did say it made $1 billion in contributions to its plans within and outside of the United States .

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