UPS Calls Pension Plans 'Healthy'

October 22, 2002 ( - At the same time as many major US corporations are struggling with dramatically underfunded pensions, United Parcel Service (UPS) reported that its pension plans are "very healthy" with a 93% funding level for 2003.

The package-delivery company also announced in a conference call with investment analysts that its pension expenses were expected to rise by $135 million next year as the company cuts its discount rate assumptions to 6.5% and its return on investment assumptions to 9.2%, according to a Dow Jones report.

Chief financial officer Scott Davis told the analysts that the Atlanta-based company might also increase its dividend. Separately, UPS reported a 1.8% increase in third quarter net profit, Dow Jones said.

The  auto industry  has been particularly hard hit with pension shortfalls, but other companies have shared in the suffering as well , including the parent company of  Kentucky Fried Chicken  and  3M .