PENSION AND OTHER POSTRETIREMENT BENEFIT PLANS
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2014
|Pension and Other Postretirement Benefit Plans [Abstract]|
|PENSION AND OTHER POSTRETIREMENT BENEFIT PLANS||
PENSION AND OTHER POSTRETIREMENT BENEFIT PLANS
Our Company sponsors and/or contributes to pension and postretirement health care and life insurance benefit plans covering substantially all U.S. employees. We also sponsor nonqualified, unfunded defined benefit pension plans for certain associates. In addition, our Company and its subsidiaries have various pension plans and other forms of postretirement arrangements outside the United States.
We refer to the funded defined benefit pension plan in the United States that is not associated with collective bargaining organizations as the "primary U.S. plan." As of December 31, 2014, the primary U.S. plan represented 58 percent and 61 percent of the Company's consolidated projected benefit obligation and pension assets, respectively.
In December 2013, the Company modified The Coca-Cola Company Retiree Health Plan. Effective January 1, 2015, the current prescription drug plan will be replaced by a Company-sponsored Medicare Part D Plan. The change reduced the accumulated postretirement benefit obligation of the plan by approximately $71 million. The Coca-Cola Refreshments Welfare Plan for Retirees will not be impacted by this change because of variations in the design of the plan.
Obligations and Funded Status
The following table sets forth the changes in benefit obligations and the fair value of plan assets for our benefit plans (in millions):
Pension and other benefit amounts recognized in our consolidated balance sheets are as follows (in millions):
Certain of our pension plans have projected benefit obligations in excess of the fair value of plan assets. For these plans, the projected benefit obligations and the fair value of plan assets were as follows (in millions):
Certain of our pension plans have accumulated benefit obligations in excess of the fair value of plan assets. For these plans, the accumulated benefit obligations and the fair value of plan assets were as follows (in millions):
Pension Plan Assets
The following table presents total assets for our U.S. and non-U.S. pension plans (in millions):
Investment Strategy for U.S. Pension Plans
The Company utilizes the services of investment managers to actively manage the assets of our U.S. pension plans. We have established asset allocation targets and investment guidelines with each investment manager. Our asset allocation targets promote optimal expected return and volatility characteristics given the long-term time horizon for fulfilling the obligations of the plan. Selection of the targeted asset allocation for U.S. plan assets was based upon a review of the expected return and risk characteristics of each asset class, as well as the correlation of returns among asset classes. During 2012, the Company revised the asset allocation targets and restructured the investment manager composition to further diversify investment risk and reduce volatility while maintaining our long-term return objectives. Our revised target allocation is a mix of 42 percent equity investments, 30 percent fixed-income investments and 28 percent alternative investments. We believe this target allocation will enable us to achieve the following long-term investment objectives:
The guidelines that have been established with each investment manager provide parameters within which the investment managers agree to operate, including criteria that determine eligible and ineligible securities, diversification requirements and credit quality standards, where applicable. Unless exceptions have been approved, investment managers are prohibited from buying or selling commodities, futures or option contracts, as well as from short selling of securities. Additionally, investment managers agree to obtain written approval for deviations from stated investment style or guidelines. As of December 31, 2014, no investment manager was responsible for more than 10 percent of total U.S. plan assets.
Our target allocation of 42 percent equity investments is composed of 60 percent global equities, 16 percent emerging market equities and 24 percent domestic small- and mid-cap equities. Optimal returns through our investments in global equities are achieved through security selection as well as country and sector diversification. Investments in the common stock of our Company accounted for approximately 5 percent of our global equities allocation and approximately 2 percent of total U.S. plan assets. Our investments in global equities are intended to provide diversified exposure to both U.S. and non-U.S. equity markets. Our investments in both emerging market equities and domestic small- and mid-cap equities are expected to experience larger swings in their market value on a periodic basis. Our investments in these asset classes are selected based on capital appreciation potential.
Our target allocation of 30 percent fixed-income investments is composed of 33 percent long-duration bonds and 67 percent with multi-strategy alternative credit managers. Long-duration bonds provide a stable rate of return through investments in high-quality publicly traded debt securities. Our investments in long-duration bonds are diversified in order to mitigate duration and credit exposure. Multi-strategy alternative credit managers invest in a combination of high-yield bonds, bank loans, structured credit and emerging market debt. These investments are in lower-rated and non-rated debt securities, which generally produce higher returns compared to long-duration bonds and also help to diversify our overall fixed-income portfolio.
In addition to equity investments and fixed-income investments, we have a target allocation of 28 percent in alternative investments. These alternative investments include hedge funds, reinsurance, private equity limited partnerships, leveraged buyout funds, international venture capital partnerships and real estate. The objective of investing in alternative investments is to provide a higher rate of return than that available from publicly traded equity securities. These investments are inherently illiquid and require a long-term perspective in evaluating investment performance.
Investment Strategy for Non-U.S. Pension Plans
As of December 31, 2014, the long-term target allocation for 59 percent of our international subsidiaries' plan assets, primarily certain of our European and Canadian plans, is 66 percent equity securities; 23 percent fixed-income securities; and 11 percent other investments. The actual allocation for the remaining 41 percent of the Company's international subsidiaries' plan assets consisted of 34 percent mutual, pooled and commingled funds; 10 percent equity securities; 13 percent fixed-income securities; and 43 percent other investments. The investment strategies of our international subsidiaries differ greatly, and in some instances are influenced by local law. None of our pension plans outside the United States is individually significant for separate disclosure.
Other Postretirement Benefit Plan Assets
Plan assets associated with other postretirement benefits primarily represent funding of one of the U.S. postretirement benefit plans through a U.S. Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association ("VEBA"), a tax-qualified trust. The VEBA assets remain segregated from the U.S. pension master trust and are primarily invested in liquid assets due to the level and timing of expected future benefit payments.
The following table presents total assets for our other postretirement benefit plans (in millions):
Components of Net Periodic Benefit Cost
Net periodic benefit cost for our pension and other postretirement benefit plans consisted of the following (in millions):
The following table sets forth the changes in AOCI for our benefit plans (in millions, pretax):
The following table sets forth amounts in AOCI for our benefit plans (in millions, pretax):
Amounts in AOCI expected to be recognized as components of net periodic pension cost in 2015 are as follows (in millions, pretax):
Certain weighted-average assumptions used in computing the benefit obligations are as follows:
Certain weighted-average assumptions used in computing net periodic benefit cost are as follows:
The expected long-term rate of return assumption for U.S. pension plan assets is based upon the target asset allocation and is determined using forward-looking assumptions in the context of historical returns and volatilities for each asset class, as well as correlations among asset classes. We evaluate the rate of return assumption on an annual basis. The expected long-term rate of return assumption used in computing 2014 net periodic pension cost for the U.S. plans was 8.5 percent. As of December 31, 2014, the 5-year, 10-year, and 15-year annualized return on plan assets for the primary U.S. plan was 10.4 percent, 6.3 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively. The annualized return since inception was 10.9 percent.
The assumed health care cost trend rates are as follows:
The Company's U.S. postretirement benefit plans are primarily defined dollar benefit plans that limit the effects of medical inflation because the plans have established dollar limits for determining our contributions. As a result, the effect of a 1 percentage point change in the assumed health care cost trend rate would not be significant to the Company.
The discount rate assumptions used to account for pension and other postretirement benefit plans reflect the rates at which the benefit obligations could be effectively settled. Rates for each of our U.S. plans at December 31, 2014, were determined using a cash flow matching technique whereby the rates of a yield curve, developed from high-quality debt securities, were applied to the benefit obligations to determine the appropriate discount rate. For our non-U.S. plans, we base the discount rate on comparable indices within each of the countries. The rate of compensation increase assumption is determined by the Company based upon annual reviews. We review external data and our own historical trends for health care costs to determine the health care cost trend rate assumptions.
Our estimated future benefit payments for funded and unfunded plans are as follows (in millions):
The Company anticipates making pension contributions in 2015 of approximately $90 million, all of which will be allocated to our international plans. The majority of these contributions are discretionary.
Defined Contribution Plans
Our Company sponsors qualified defined contribution plans covering substantially all U.S. employees. Under the largest U.S. defined contribution plan, we match participants' contributions up to a maximum of 3.5 percent of compensation, subject to certain limitations. Company costs related to the U.S. plans were $92 million, $97 million and $93 million in 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively. We also sponsor defined contribution plans in certain locations outside the United States. Company costs associated with those plans were $36 million, $32 million and $29 million in 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively.
As a result of our acquisition of CCE's former North America business during the fourth quarter of 2010, the Company now participates in various multi-employer pension plans in the United States. Multi-employer pension plans are designed to cover employees from multiple employers and are typically established under collective bargaining agreements. These plans allow multiple employers to pool their pension resources and realize efficiencies associated with the daily administration of the plan.
Multi-employer plans are generally governed by a board of trustees composed of management and labor representatives and are funded through employer contributions.
The Company's expense for U.S. multi-employer pension plans totaled $38 million, $37 million and $31 million in 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively. The plans we currently participate in have contractual arrangements that extend into 2019. If, in the future, we choose to withdraw from any of the multi-employer pension plans in which we currently participate, we would need to record the appropriate withdrawal liabilities at that time.
The entire disclosure for pension and other postretirement benefits.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef