WAG » Topics » Retirement Benefits

This excerpt taken from the WAG 10-K filed Nov 4, 2005.

Retirement Benefits

The principal retirement plan for employees is the Walgreen Profit-Sharing Retirement Trust to which both the company and the employees contribute. The company's contribution, which is determined annually at the discretion of the Board of Directors, has historically related to pre-tax income. The profit-sharing provision was $218.5 million in 2005, $193.6 million in 2004 and $168.0 million in 2003. The company's contributions were $262.3 million for 2005, $161.5 million for 2004 and $138.3 million for 2003.

The company provides certain health insurance benefits for retired employees who meet eligibility requirements, including age, years of service and date of hire. This year the company announced a change to the retiree medical and prescription drug plans, which impacts the company's benefit obligation. For a select group of eligible employees, the company will contribute a flat dollar contribution towards retiree medical and prescription drug coverage based on years of service. This flat dollar contribution will be indexed on an annual basis. The costs of these benefits are accrued over the period earned. The company's postretirement health benefit plans are not funded.

Components of net periodic benefit costs (In Millions):

 

2005

2004

2003

Service cost

$22.0

$19.3

$ 10.2

Interest cost

23.6

22.5

15.7

Amortization of actuarial loss

10.6

9.9

4.9

Amortization of prior service cost

(3.6)

(0.4)

(0.4)

Transition obligation

4.9

-

-

Total postretirement benefit cost

$57.5

$51.3

$30.4

Change in benefit obligation (In Millions):

 

2005

2004

Benefit obligation at September 1

$392.5

$349.6

Service cost

22.0

19.3

Interest cost

23.6

22.5

Amendments

(36.7)

(26.3)

Actuarial loss (gain)

(6.6)

33.0

Benefit payments

(8.7)

(7.1)

Participants contributions

.8

1.5

Transition obligation

4.9

-

Benefit obligation at August 31

$391.8

$392.5

Change in plan assets (In Millions):

2005

2004

Plan assets at fair value at September 1

$ -

$ -

Plan participants contributions

.8

1.5

Employer contributions

7.9

5.6

Benefits paid

(8.7)

(7.1)

Plan assets at fair value at August 31

$ -

$ -

Funded status (In Millions):

 

2005

2004

Funded status

$(391.8)

$(392.5)

Unrecognized actuarial loss

203.1

220.1

Unrecognized prior service cost

(65.2)

(32.1)

Accrued benefit cost at August 31

$(254.0)

$(204.5)

 

 

21

 

The measurement date used to determine the postretirement benefits is as of the fiscal year ending August 31. The discount rate assumption used to compute the postretirement benefit obligation at year-end was 5.5% for 2005 and 6.5% for 2004. The discount rate assumption used to determine net periodic benefit cost was 5.5% for 2005, 6.5% for 2004 and 7.0% for 2003.

Future benefit costs were estimated assuming medical costs would increase at a 10.0% annual rate gradually decreasing to 5.25% over the next five years and then remaining at a 5.25% annual growth rate thereafter. A one percentage point change in the assumed medical cost trend rate would have the following effects (In Millions):

 

1% Increase

1% Decrease

Effect on service and interest cost

$13.3

$ (6.9)

Effect on postretirement obligation

27.8

(24.6)

(In Millions)

Estimated Future Benefit Payments

Estimated Federal Subsidy

2006

$ 6.9

$ .5

2007

8.3

1.0

2008

9.2

1.1

2009

10.6

1.3

2010

12.4

1.5

2011-2015

86.3

11.4

The expected contribution to be paid during fiscal year 2006 is $6.4 million.

The company's accumulated postretirement benefit obligation (APBO) and net periodic benefit costs include the effect of the federal subsidy provided by the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003. The APBO and net periodic benefit costs have decreased by approximately $115.4 million and $6.5 million, respectively.

 

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