Economic Performance (cont.)
BENEFIT PLAN OBLIGATIONS
We sponsor employee-related obligations, among them pension and post-retirement benefits. These include defined benefits (a pension and savings plan), defined contributions (voluntary 401(k)) and termination indemnity plans, covering most employees worldwide.
At the end of fiscal year 2009, the projected benefit obligation was $13,449 million, and the fair value of the assets equaled $10,923 million, for a shortfall of $2,526 million. Discretionary contributions are made when deemed appropriate to meet the plan’s long-term obligations. For more information, see Note 10 and page 49 in our 2009 Annual Report.
As the U.S. pension plan is provided at no cost, all employees aged 21 and up with at least one year of service participate in the plan. Pension plan offerings vary outside the U.S. and do not exist in all countries.
The voluntary 401(k) plan is based on a minimum of 2 percent up to 6 percent employee contribution from each paycheck, matched at 75 percent by the employer. There is no standing obligation, as funds are disbursed each pay period.