Pension Details to Emerge as Companies Ready Yearly Reports
Associated Press (01/15/03) Vol. 13, No. 1 p.C1; Dale, Arden

Companies often calculate expected rates of returns for their pension plans according to regulations set forth by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, but as companies struggle to keep their plans funded in the poor economy, the board may be forced to re-examine the rate issue. Investors should be concerned about pension shortfalls only if companies announce they are infusing the plans with cash or reducing their rates of return, which are only calculated once per year. Fitch Ratings analyst Chris Struve says about 70 percent of Standard & Poor's 500 companies have pension deficits, but many are remaining quiet about it. However, pressure from investors may force those companies with pension shortfalls to fess up, strengthen their plans, and take hits to their bottom lines and capital budgets.

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