The funded status of the pension plans at year-end 2012 was estimated to be a deficit of €1.1 billion (year-end 2011: €0.5 billion; Q3 2012: €0.9 billion).
The movement compared with year-end 2011 is primarily due to:
- Top-up payments of €355 million into certain UK and US defined benefit pension plans
- A payment from a contingent asset structure of €239 million into the UK ICI Pension Fund
- Plan asset returns ahead expectation
- Lower discount rates significantly increasing the pension obligation.
The amended IAS 19 on pensions has become effective as of January 1, 2013. Implementation of this amendment will result in including the pension deficit in other comprehensive income in shareholders’ equity as of 2013. The impact is disclosed in our 2012 financial statements, from which the pension note is issued together with this report.