This excerpt taken from the BAC 8-K filed Feb 25, 2009.
Defined Benefit Pension Plans
In 1988 Merrill Lynch purchased a group annuity contract that guarantees the payment of benefits vested under a U.S. defined benefit pension plan that was terminated (the U.S. Terminated Pension Plan) in accordance with the applicable provisions of ERISA. At year-end 2008 and 2007, a substantial portion of the assets supporting the annuity contract were invested in U.S. Government and agencies securities. Merrill Lynch, under a supplemental agreement, may be responsible for, or benefit from, actual experience and investment performance of the annuity assets. Merrill Lynch expects to contribute approximately $120 million toward this agreement in 2009. Merrill Lynch also maintains supplemental defined benefit pension plans (i.e., plans not subject to Title IV of ERISA) for certain U.S. participants. Merrill Lynch expects to pay $1 million of benefit payments to participants in the U.S. non-qualified pension plans in 2009.
Employees of certain non-U.S. subsidiaries participate in various local defined benefit pension plans. These plans provide benefits that are generally based on years of credited service and a percentage of the employees eligible compensation during the final years of employment. Merrill Lynchs funding
policy has been to contribute annually at least the amount necessary to satisfy local funding standards. Merrill Lynch currently expects to contribute $55 million to its non-U.S. pension plans in 2009.