Pension Plans: Major Companies Face Billion Dollar Shortfalls
Wall Street Journal (10/11/02) p.C1; Bryan-Low, Cassell; Sidel, Robin

A new Credit Suisse First Boston study shows that Ford Motor and General Motors may not be the only companies with seriously underfunded pension plans, indicating that by the end of 2002 the 360 companies in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index that offer pension plans will have assets enough to cover only 79 percent of their liabilities. This will probably affect future earnings, as companies must make contributions when pension reserves fall below a certain threshold for three years, and using cash to make up deficits instead of to make investments can worry investors. The report is based on certain assumptions about future markets, and the market could go back up before the year ends.

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