CANADA - Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) has said it will double the funding of its pension plan due to poor asset performance.
In its fourth quarter earnings statement the company said it had "in excess" of $3bn of cash and cash equivalents on its balance sheet, which would allow it to meet pension funding requirements internally, without needing to access capital markets.
It said: "BCE believes this prudent approach to its capital structure is especially appropriate in light of the current economic environment."
The company uses a 7%, which would result in the total net cost of its benefit plans being approximately $260 million in 2009.
BCE was the centre of a long-running CAN$45bn buyout deal led by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, which collapsed in December 2008 due to concerns over the solvency of the company post-acquisition (Globalpensions.com; 11 December 2008).
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