Dow buys annuity from Metropolitan Tower Life to transfer pension liabilities

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Dow Inc., Midland, Mich., purchased a group annuity contract from Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Co. to transfer about $700 million in U.S. pension plan liabilities.

The purchase in November transferred the benefit-paying responsibilities of about 12,000 retirees and beneficiaries to the MetLife subsidiary, confirmed Dow spokeswoman Ashley Mendoza.

Ms. Mendoza said the company transferred retirees and beneficiaries in the Dow Employees’ Pension Plan who receive $950 or less in monthly benefits, and retirees and beneficiaries in the Union Carbide Employees’ Pension Plan who receive $420 or less, in addition to meeting other criteria.

As of Dec. 31, global DB plan assets totaled $26.4 billion, while projected benefit obligations totaled $35.3 billion, for a funding ratio of 74.8%, according to the 10-K filing. The filing did not break down DB plans by region; according to the filing, Dow has 35 global pension plans.