DIS » Topics » Pension and Benefit Costs

This excerpt taken from the DIS 10-K filed Nov 22, 2006.

Pension and Benefit Costs

Pension and postretirement medical benefit plan costs affect results in all of our segments, with the majority of these costs being borne by the Parks and Resorts segment. The Company recognized pension and postretirement medical benefit plan expenses of $462 million, $314 million, and $374 million for fiscal years ended 2006, 2005, and 2004, respectively. The increase in fiscal 2006 was due primarily to a decrease in the discount rate used to measure the present value of plan obligations. The discount rate assumption decreased from 6.30% to 5.25%, reflecting trends in prevailing market interest rates at our June 30, 2005 valuation date.

 

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We expect pension and postretirement medical costs to decrease to $273 million in fiscal 2007 with approximately one-half of these costs being borne by the Parks and Resorts segment. The decrease is primarily due to an increase in the discount rate assumption from 5.25% to 6.40%, reflecting increases in prevailing market interest rates on our June 30, 2006 valuation date. The assumed discount rate for pension plans reflects the market rates for high-quality corporate bonds currently available. The Company’s discount rate was determined by considering the average of pension yield curves constructed of a large population of high quality corporate bonds. The resulting discount rate reflects the matching of plan liability cash flows to the yield curves.

During fiscal 2006, the Company contributed approximately $400 million to its pension and postretirement medical plans, which included voluntary contributions above the minimum requirements for the pension plans. Based on the January 1, 2006 funding valuation, the Company is not required to make any contributions to its pension plans during fiscal 2007. The Company currently expects to contribute, at a minimum, $19 million to its pension and postretirement medical plans during fiscal 2007. The Company may make additional contributions into its pension plans in fiscal 2007 depending on how the funded status of those plans change and as we gain more clarity with respect to the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) that was signed into law on August 17, 2006. The United States Treasury Department is in the process of developing implementation guidance for the PPA; however, it is likely the PPA will accelerate minimum funding requirements beginning in fiscal 2009. The Company may choose to pre-fund some of this anticipated funding.

Pension obligations exceed plan assets for a number of our pension plans. In this situation, the accounting rules require that we record an additional minimum pension liability. The minimum pension liability adjustment at year end fiscal 2006 and fiscal 2005 is as follows (in millions):

 

     Minimum Liability
at Fiscal Year End
   Decrease
    in 2006    
         2006            2005       

Pretax

   $   197    $   1,124    $   (927)

Aftertax

   $ 124    $ 709    $ (585)

The decrease in the minimum pension liability in fiscal 2006 was primarily due to the increase in the discount rate from 5.25% to 6.40%. The accounting rules do not require that changes in the additional minimum pension liability adjustment be recorded in current period earnings, but rather they are recorded directly to equity through accumulated other comprehensive income. Expense recognition under the pension accounting rules is based upon long-term trends over the expected life of the Company’s workforce. See Note 9 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion.

In September 2006, the FASB issued SFAS No. 158, Employers’ Accounting for Defined Benefit Pension and Other Postretirement Plans, an amendment of FASB Statements No. 87, 88, 106, and 132(R) (SFAS 158). See Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion.

This excerpt taken from the DIS 10-K filed Dec 7, 2005.
PENSION AND BENEFIT COSTS

      Pension and post-retirement medical benefit plan costs affect results in all of our segments, with the majority of these costs being borne by the Parks and Resorts segment. These costs decreased from $374 million in fiscal 2004 to $314 million in fiscal 2005. The decrease in fiscal 2005 was due primarily to an increase in the discount rate used to measure the present value of plan obligations. The discount rate assumption increased from 5.85% to 6.30% reflecting trends in prevailing market interest rates at our June 30, 2004 valuation date.

      We expect pension and post-retirement medical costs to increase to $462 million in fiscal 2006. The increase is primarily due to a decrease in the discount rate assumption from 6.30% to 5.25%, reflecting decreases in prevailing market interest rates on our June 30, 2005 valuation date. The assumed discount rate for pension plans reflects the market rates for high-quality corporate bonds currently available. The Company’s discount rate was determined by considering the average of pension yield curves constructed of a large population of high quality corporate bonds. The resulting discount rate reflects the matching of plan liability cash flows to the yield curves.

      During fiscal 2005, the Company contributed $303 million to its pension and postretirement medical plans which included voluntary contributions above the minimum requirements for the pension plans. The Company currently expects to contribute, at a minimum, $61 million to its pension and postretirement medical plans during fiscal 2006. The Company may make additional contributions into its pension plans in fiscal 2006 depending on how the funded status of those plans change

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and also depending on the outcome of proposed changes to the funding regulations currently being considered by the United States Congress.

      Due to an increase in the present value of pension obligations, pension obligations exceed plan assets for a number of our pension plans. In this situation, the accounting rules require that we record an additional minimum pension liability. The additional minimum pension liability adjustment at year end fiscal 2005 and fiscal 2004 is as follows:

                         
Minimum Liability
at Fiscal Year End

Increase
2005 2004 in 2005



Pretax
  $ 1,124     $ 415     $ 709  
Aftertax
  $ 709     $ 261     $ 448  

      The increase in the additional minimum pension liability in fiscal 2005 was primarily due to the decrease in the discount rate from 6.30% to 5.25%. The accounting rules do not require that changes in the additional minimum pension liability adjustment be recorded in current period earnings, but rather they are recorded directly to equity through accumulated other comprehensive income. Expense recognition under the pension accounting rules is based upon long-term trends over the expected life of the Company’s workforce. See Note 8 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion.

EXCERPTS ON THIS PAGE:

10-K
Nov 22, 2006
10-K
Dec 7, 2005
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