This excerpt taken from the PBR 6-K filed Apr 19, 2006.
(Rio de Janeiro, April 19, 2006). PETRÓLEO BRASILEIRO S/A - PETROBRAS, [Bovespa: PETR3/PETR4, NYSE: PBR/PBRA, Latibex: XPBR/XPBRA], a Brazilian international energy company, announces that following meetings with labor union representatives to reach an agreement on the Companys Supplementary Pension Plan, the Executive Board has made a proposal designed to provide a fair solution for the current Petros Plan and the implementation of a New Plan. Any eventual solution as an outcome to negotiations, will be subject to Board of Directors approval.
The Companys Executive Board has presented to the employee and assisted participants the following proposal together with factors contingent to its feasibility and effective implementation:
1) Agreement with labor union representatives aiming at the settlement and extinguishment of the matters raised in the legal proceedings, notably the Civil Action, on the questions involving the Petrobras Groups supplementary pension plan. The claims with respect to the matters to be extinguished in the legal proceedings, under the proposal, would be resolved through the calculation of their actuarial value, Petrobras assuming amortization of this value over 20 years, contingent on the Plans liquidity conditions.
2) Revision of the method for supporting the cost of the Petros Plan, based on the contributory parity criterion, transforming the contributions of the Sponsoring Companies into values equal to those collected as contributions from employee and assisted members.
3) Negotiation of a financial incentive to employees and assisted participants pursuant to demands from the labor union representatives, as a quid pro quo for the transaction which provides for the renegotiation of the current Plan with respect to the readjustment in benefits.
The current stage of negotiations does not allow any definition of whether there will be material changes in actuarial liabilities and results posted in Petrobras financial statements. Such impacts will be evaluated, recognized in the accounts and notified to the market once the proposal as been finalized.
For Petrobras to make these actions and commitments feasible and effective, the following conditions are mandatory:
The New Supplementary Pension Plan is based on the Variable Contribution VC model, with the capitalization of funds through individual accounts. Retirement pensions are established as a function of the balance in the account in addition to providing coverage for social security risks (disability and death during active employment) and options for payment of lifetime benefits, with a provision for transferring certain pension rights to dependents upon the death of the principal member, or in accordance with a fixed term system.
In short, should the foregoing conditional elements be accepted, the proposal will offer the opportunity to:
We once again emphasize that the proposal seeks, through a combined effort, to strengthen the Companys Supplementary Pension Plan and that the once negotiated and presented to the employees, the proposed plan must be submitted and approved by the Board of Directors, and appropriate authorities.
For Petrobras, the proposed adjustment of this Model is fundamental for its future administration to remain attractive, self-sustaining and strengthened as a key instrument in the management of staff in the Groups companies.
Established in 1970, on December 31 2005, the Petros Plan reported an unfounded technical liability of R$ 4.5 billion (R$ 5.2 billion in 2004) in the balance sheet of Fundação PETROS. Isto não implica que há problemas de solvência no curto e médio prazo. This déficit reflects the difference between Petros actuarial obligations and its guarantees and was reduced in 2005 as result of the yield of its assets exceeding its actuarial target..
We would also note that Petrobras continues to pursue an active hiring program, to date, representing 13,000 admissions since 2002. These new hirings are not registered with the supplementary pension plan, but are covered by a group life insurance policy, the cost of which is borne by the Company. In addition, Petrobras plans to hire a further 9,000 employees over the next three years, in line with its strategies for 2015, thus making the implementation of the new plan increasingly necessary.