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Ford's pension plan underfunding rises


DEARBORN, Mich.—The funded levels of Ford Motor Co.'s U.S. pension plans declined slightly in 2010, as liabilities grew more than plan assets.

At year-end 2010, the plans were underfunded by $6.7 billion, compared with $6.2 billion at year-end 2009, according to financial reports that Ford released Monday.

Benefit obligations jumped by about $2 billion, increasing to $46.6 billion in 2010, while the value of plan assets increased by roughly $1.5 billion, rising to nearly $40 billion.

By contrast, Ford rival General Motors Co. reported earlier that the funding levels of its U.S. pension plans improved significantly in 2010. At year-end, the plans were underfunded by $11.5 billion, a significant improvement from year-end 2009, when the plans had $16.2 billion in unfunded benefits.

GM bolstered the funded levels of its U.S. pension plans with $4 billion in cash contributions made late last year.

Ford didn't disclose the amount it contributed last year to its U.S. pension plans but did say it made $1 billion in contributions to its plans within and outside of the United States.

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