This excerpt taken from the SYT 20-F filed Mar 1, 2006.
Defined Benefit Pensions
Defined benefit pension costs increased from US$175 million in 2003 (including US$46 million of restructuring costs) to US$221 million in 2004 (including US$95 million of restructuring costs). The restructuring costs in 2004 included the one-off transition costs of moving to a new scheme in Switzerland that, whilst continuing to be accounted for as a defined benefit scheme, has several of the characteristics of a defined contribution scheme, which in particular will reduce the costs associated with early retirement. Excluding the costs associated with restructuring, defined benefit costs have remained broadly flat in 2004.
During 2004, as in 2003, actual investment returns exceeded the long term assumed rate of return. Employer contributions to defined benefit schemes, excluding contributions related to restructuring, increased from US$110 million in 2003 to US$144 million in 2004. However, the effect of higher investment returns and contributions was offset by increased pension liability valuations caused by significant reductions in real discount rates in 2003 and further significant reductions in 2004. Overall, the funding ratio (the market value of pension plan assets as a percentage of the projected benefit obligation) improved by approximately 4% in 2003. The funding ratio reduced by approximately 2% in 2004. Defined benefit pensions are described in more detail in Note 26 of the consolidated financial statements.
This excerpt taken from the SYT 20-F filed Mar 16, 2005.
Defined benefit pensions
IAS 19, Employee Benefits, allows recognition of actuarial gains and losses arising in defined benefit pension plans to be deferred and amortized over future employee service to the extent that they exceed 10% of the higher of the defined benefit pension obligation or the market value of pension plan assets. Immediate recognition in the income statement is also permitted. Syngenta has chosen to apply the 10% corridor method. Under a policy of immediate recognition in income, the unrecognized losses of US$610 million disclosed in Note 26 below would have been recognized in, and would have reduced, previous years results of operations.