This report summarizes the assumptions used by companies to calculate pension costs and obligations, the disclosure of pension assets and obligations under ASC 715, and disclosures regarding postretirement benefits other than pensions — primarily retiree health and life insurance benefits.

This summary report is the 26th in a series by Towers Watson of annual analyses of defined benefit pension disclosures and the 20th summary report to analyze other postretirement benefit disclosures.

Key findings include:

  • For fiscal-year-end (FYE) 2012, the discount rate used to calculate the present value of pension obligations ranged from 2.70% to 5.50%.
  • At the end of 2012, 70% of companies had a projected benefit obligation (PBO) funded status of less than 80%.
  • The average return for plan sponsors at FYE 2012 was 12.33%.