|UNION CARBIDE CORP /NEW/ filed this Form 10-K on 02/15/2018|
The estimated pretax net (gain) loss and prior service credit for defined benefit pension plans and other postretirement benefit plans that will be amortized from accumulated other comprehensive loss into net periodic benefit cost during 2018 are summarized below:
Estimated Future Benefit Payments
The estimated future benefit payments, reflecting expected future service, as appropriate, are presented in the following table:
Plan assets consist primarily of equity and fixed income securities of U.S. and foreign issuers, and include alternative investments such as real estate, private equity and other absolute return strategies. Plan assets totaled $3.3 billion at December 31, 2017 and $3.1 billion at December 31, 2016, of which no DowDuPont or Dow common stock was directly held.
The Corporation's investment strategy for the plan assets is to manage the assets in relation to the liability in order to pay retirement benefits to plan participants over the life of the plans. This is accomplished by identifying and managing the exposure to various market risks, diversifying investments across various asset classes and earning an acceptable long-term rate of return consistent with an acceptable amount of risk, while considering the liquidity needs of the plan.
The plan is permitted to use derivative instruments for investment purposes, as well as for hedging the underlying asset and liability exposures and rebalancing the asset allocation. The plan uses value-at-risk, stress testing, scenario analysis and Monte Carlo simulation to monitor and manage both asset risk in the portfolios and surplus risk.
Equity securities primarily include investments in large- and small-cap companies located in both developed and emerging markets around the world. Fixed income securities are primarily U.S. dollar based and include U.S. treasuries and investment grade corporate bonds of companies diversified across industries. Alternative investments primarily include investments in real estate, private equity limited partnerships and absolute return strategies. Other significant investment types include various insurance contracts; and interest rate, equity and foreign exchange derivative investments and hedges.
The Corporation mitigates the credit risk of investments by establishing guidelines with the investment managers that limit investment in any single issue or issuer to an amount that is not material to the portfolio being managed. These guidelines are monitored for compliance both by the Corporation and the external managers. Credit risk for hedging activity is mitigated by utilizing multiple counterparties, collateral support agreements, and centralized clearing where appropriate.
The Northern Trust Collective Government Short Term Investment money market fund is utilized as the sweep vehicle for the pension plan, which from time to time can represent a significant investment. Approximately 35 percent of the liability of the pension plan is covered by a participating group annuity issued by Prudential Insurance Company.