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.