EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2019
|EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS|
|EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS||
19. EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS
Defined Benefit and Other Postretirement Benefit
We provide a trusteed, non contributory defined benefit pension plan (the “Plan”) that covers the majority of our U.S. employees. Effective July 1, 2004, the Plan formula for employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement was converted to a cash balance design. For represented employees, participation in the cash balance design was subject to the terms of negotiated contracts. For participating employees, benefits accrued under the prior formula were converted to opening cash balance accounts. The cash balance benefit formula provides annual pay credits from 6% to 12% of eligible pay, depending on age and service, plus accrued interest. The conversion to the cash balance plan did not have a significant impact on the accrued benefit liability, the funded status or ongoing pension expense.
Beginning July 1, 2014, the Huntsman Defined Benefit Pension Plan was closed to new non-union entrants and as of April 1, 2015, it was closed to new union entrants. In addition, as of January 1, 2015, Rubicon LLC closed its defined benefit plan to new entrants. Following the closure of these plans, new hires have been provided with a defined contribution plan with a non-discretionary employer contribution of 6% of pay and a company match of up to 4% of pay, for a total company contribution of up to 10% of pay. We also sponsor unfunded postretirement benefit plans other than pensions, which provide medical and life insurance benefits. Effective August 1, 2015, the post retirement benefit plans were closed to new entrants.
Our postretirement benefit plans provide access to two fully insured Medicare Part D plans including prescription drug benefits affected by the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (the “Act”). We cannot determine whether the medical benefits provided by our postretirement benefit plans are actuarially equivalent to those provided by the Act. We do not collect a subsidy and our net periodic postretirement benefits cost, and related benefit obligation, do not reflect an amount associated with the subsidy. We do not subsidize the premium cost of these plans; the premiums are entirely paid by the retirees.
We sponsor defined benefit plans in a number of countries outside of the U.S. The availability of these plans, and their specific design provisions, are consistent with local competitive practices and regulations.
The following table sets forth the funded status of the plans for us and Huntsman International and the amounts recognized in our consolidated balance sheets at December 31, 2019 and 2018 (dollars in millions):
The amounts in accumulated other comprehensive loss that are expected to be recognized as components of net periodic benefit cost of continuing operations during the next fiscal year are as follows (dollars in millions):
Components of net periodic benefit costs of continuing operations for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 were as follows (dollars in millions):
The amounts recognized in net periodic benefit cost and other comprehensive income (loss) as of December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 were as follows (dollars in millions):
The following weighted-average assumptions were used to determine the projected benefit obligation at the measurement date and the net periodic pension cost for the year:
At December 31, 2019 and 2018 the health care trend rate used to measure the expected increase in the cost of benefits was assumed to be 6.50%, decreasing to 5% in 2025 and after. Assumed health care cost trend rates can have a significant effect on the amounts reported for the postretirement benefit plans. A one-percent point change in assumed health care cost trend rates would have the following effects (dollars in millions):
The projected benefit obligation and fair value of plan assets for the defined benefit plans with projected benefit obligations in excess of plan assets as of December 31, 2019 and 2018 were as follows (dollars in millions):
The projected benefit obligation, accumulated benefit obligation and fair value of plan assets for the defined benefit plans with an accumulated benefit obligation in excess of plan assets as of December 31, 2019 and 2018 were as follows (dollars in millions):
Expected future contributions and benefit payments related to continuing operations are as follows (dollars in millions):
Our investment strategy with respect to pension assets is to pursue an investment plan that, over the long term, is expected to protect the funded status of the plan, enhance the real purchasing power of plan assets, and not threaten the plan’s ability to meet currently committed obligations. Additionally, our investment strategy is to achieve returns on plan assets, subject to a prudent level of portfolio risk. Plan assets are invested in a broad range of investments. These investments are diversified in terms of domestic and international equities, both growth and value funds, including small, mid and large capitalization equities; short-term and long-term debt securities; real estate; and cash and cash equivalents. The investments are further diversified within each asset category. The portfolio diversification provides protection against a single investment or asset category having a disproportionate impact on the aggregate performance of the plan assets.
Our pension plan assets are managed by outside investment managers. The investment managers value our plan assets using quoted market prices, other observable inputs or unobservable inputs. For certain assets, the investment managers obtain third-party appraisals at least annually, which use valuation techniques and inputs specific to the applicable property, market, or geographic location. During 2019, there were no transfersor out of Level 3 assets.
We have established target allocations for each asset category. Our pension plan assets are periodically rebalanced based upon our target allocations.
The fair value of plan assets for the pension plans was $2.8 billion and $2.4 billion at December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively. The following plan assets are measured at fair value on a recurring basis (dollars in millions):
The following table reconciles the beginning and ending balances of plan assets measured at fair value using unobservable inputs (Level 3) (dollars in millions):
Based upon historical returns, the expectations of our investment committee and outside advisors, the expected long-term rate of return on the pension assets is estimated to be between 5.68% and 7.53%. The asset allocation for our pension plans at December 31, 2019 and 2018 and the target allocation for 2020, by asset category are as follows:
Equity securities in our pension plans did not include any direct investments in equity securities of our Company or our affiliates at the end of 2019.
Defined Contribution Plans—U.S.
We had a money purchase pension plan that covered substantially all of our domestic employees who were hired prior to January 1, 2004. Employer contributions were made based on a percentage of employees’ earnings (ranging up to 8%). During 2014, we closed this plan to non-union participants, and in 2015, we closed this plan to union associates. We continue to provide equivalent benefits to those who were covered under this plan into their salary deferral account.
We have a salary deferral plan covering substantially all U.S. employees. Plan participants may elect to make voluntary contributions to this plan up to a specified amount of their compensation. We contribute an amount equal to the participant’s contribution, not to exceed 4 % of the participant’s compensation. For new hires who are not eligible for the cash balance plan, and associates who were covered by the money purchase pension plan prior to its closure, we contribute an additional amount into their salary deferral accounts, not to exceed 6% of the participant’s compensation.
Our total combined expense for the above defined contribution plans for each of the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 was $17 million, $16 million and $16 million, respectively.
Defined Contribution Plans—Non-U.S.
We have defined contribution plans in a variety of non-U.S. locations.
All UK associates are eligible to participate in the Huntsman UK Pension Plan, a contract-based arrangement with a third party. Company contributions vary by business during a five-year transition period. Plan participants elect to make voluntary contributions to this plan up to a specified amount of their compensation. We contribute a matching amount not to exceed 12% of the participant’s salary for new hires and 15% of the participant’s salary for all other participants.
Our total combined expense for these defined contribution plans for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 was $4 million, $4 million and $5 million, respectively, primarily related to the Huntsman UK Pension Plan.
Supplemental Salary Deferral Plan and Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan
The Huntsman Supplemental Savings Plan (the “SSP”) is a non-qualified plan covering key management employees and allows participants to defer amounts that would otherwise be paid as compensation. The participant can defer up to 75% of their salary and bonus each year. This plan also provides benefits that would be provided under the Huntsman Salary Deferral Plan if that plan were not subject to legal limits on the amount of contributions that can be allocated to an individual in a single year. The SSP was amended and restated effective as of January 1, 2005 to allow eligible executive employees to comply with Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
The Huntsman Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan (the “SERP”) is an unfunded non-qualified pension plan established to provide certain executive employees with benefits that could not be provided, due to legal limitations, under the Huntsman Defined Benefit Pension Plan, a qualified defined benefit pension plan, and the Huntsman Money Purchase Pension Plan, a qualified money purchase pension plan.
Assets of these plans are included in other noncurrent assets and as of December 31, 2019 and 2018 were $39 million and $32 million, respectively. During each of the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, we expensed a total of $1 million as contributions to the SSP and the SERP.
Stock-Based Incentive Plan
On May 5, 2016, our stockholders approved a new Huntsman Corporation 2016 Stock Incentive Plan (the “2016 Stock Incentive Plan”), which reserved 8.2 million shares for issuance. The Huntsman Corporation Stock Incentive Plan, as amended and restated (the “Prior Plan”), remains in effect for outstanding awards granted pursuant to the Prior Plan, but no further awards may be granted under the Prior Plan. Under the 2016 Stock Incentive Plan, we may grant nonqualified stock options, incentive stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock, phantom stock, performance share units and other stock-based awards to our employees, directors and consultants and to employees and consultants of our subsidiaries, provided that incentive stock options may be granted solely to employees. The terms of
the grants under both the 2016 Stock Incentive Plan and the Prior Plan are fixed at the grant date. As of December 31, 2019, we had approximately 8 million shares remaining under the 2016 Stock Incentive Plan available for grant. See “Note 24. Stock-Based Compensation Plan.”
International employees are covered by various post-employment arrangements consistent with local practices and regulations. Such obligations are included in other long-term liabilities in our consolidated balance sheets.
The entire disclosure for pension and other postretirement benefits.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef