Retirement Benefit Plans
|12 Months Ended|
Jan. 28, 2012
|Retirement Benefit Plans [Abstract]|
|Retirement Benefit Plans||
16) Retirement Benefit Plans
We provide retirement pension benefits, postretirement health and welfare benefits, as well as 401(k) savings, profit-sharing and stock ownership plan benefits to various segments of our workforce (associates). Retirement benefits are an important part of our total compensation and benefits program designed to retain and attract qualified, talented associates. Pension benefits are provided through defined benefit pension plans consisting of a non-contributory qualified pension plan (primary plan) and, for certain management associates, non-contributory supplemental retirement plans, including a 1997 voluntary early retirement plan. Retirement and other benefits include:
Defined Benefit Pension Plans
Primary Plan — Funded
The primary plan is a funded non-contributory qualified pension plan, initiated in 1966 and closed to new entrants on January 1, 2007. The plan is funded by Company contributions to a trust fund, which are held for the sole benefit of participants and beneficiaries.
Supplemental Retirement Plans — Unfunded
We have unfunded supplemental retirement plans, which provide retirement benefits to certain management associates. We pay ongoing benefits from operating cash flow and cash investments. The plans are a Supplemental Retirement Program and a Benefit Restoration Plan. Participation in the Supplemental Retirement Program is limited to associates who were annual incentive-eligible management associates as of December 31, 1995. Benefits for these plans are based on length of service and final average compensation. The Benefit Restoration Plan is intended to make up benefits that could not be paid by the primary plan due to governmental limits on the amount of benefits and the level of pay considered in the calculation of benefits. The Supplemental Retirement Program is a non-qualified plan that was designed to allow eligible management associates to retire at age 60 with retirement income comparable to the age 65 benefit provided under the primary plan and Benefit Restoration Plan. In addition, the Supplemental Retirement Program offers participants who leave between ages 60 and 62 benefits equal to the estimated social security benefits payable at age 62. The Supplemental Retirement Program also continues Company-paid term life insurance at a declining rate until it is phased out at age 70. Associate-paid term life insurance through age 65 is continued under a separate plan (Supplemental Term Life Insurance Plan for Management Profit-Sharing Associates).
Voluntary Early Retirement Program (VERP)
In August 2011, we announced a VERP under which approximately 8,000 eligible associates had between September 1, 2011 and October 15, 2011 to elect to participate. For the approximately 4,000 associates who elected to accept the VERP, we incurred a total charge of $176 million for enhanced retirement benefits which was recorded in the line item restructuring and management transition in the Consolidated Statements of Operations (see Note 17). Enhanced retirement benefits of $133 million related to our primary plan decreased our overfunded status of the plan. Enhanced retirement benefits of $36 million and $7 million related to our unfunded Supplemental Retirement Program and Benefit Restoration Plan, respectively, increased the projected benefit obligation (PBO) of these plans. In addition, we also incurred curtailment charges totaling $1 million related to our Supplemental Retirement Program and Benefit Restoration Plan as a result of the reduction in the expected years of future service related to these plans. These curtailment charges were recorded in the line item restructuring and management transition in the Consolidated Statements of Operations (see Note 17). As a result of these curtailments, the liabilities for our Supplemental Retirement Program and Benefit Restoration Plan were remeasured as of October 15, 2011. The discount rate used for the October 15 remeasurements was 5.06% as compared to the year-end 2010 discount rate of 5.65%. As of October 15, 2011, the PBOs of our Supplemental Retirement Program and Benefit Restoration Plan were increased by $71 million and $24 million, respectively.
Pension Expense/(Income) for Defined Benefit Pension Plans
Pension expense is based upon the annual service cost of benefits (the actuarial cost of benefits attributed to a period) and the interest cost on plan liabilities, less the expected return on plan assets for the primary plan. Differences in actual experience in relation to assumptions are not recognized immediately but are deferred and amortized over the average remaining service period of approximately seven years for the primary plan, subject to a corridor as permitted under GAAP pension plan accounting.
The components of net periodic pension expense were as follows:
Pension Plan Expense
The defined benefit plan pension expense shown in the above table is included as a separate line item on the Consolidated Statements of Operations.
The weighted-average actuarial assumptions used to determine expense were as follows:
(1) The discount rate used for the Supplemental Retirement Program and Benefit Restoration Plan was revised to 5.06% on the remeasurement date of October 15, 2011 as a result of the VERP.
(2) For the first four months of 2009, the initial discount rate was 6.95% as determined by the January 31, 2009 annual measurement. The discount rate was revised to 6.86% on the remeasurement date of May 18, 2009. The supplemental plans and retiree medical plans used 6.95% for the year, since those plans were not subject to remeasurement.
The expected return on plan assets is based on the plan's long-term asset allocation policy, historical returns for plan assets and overall capital market returns, taking into account current and expected market conditions. In 2010 and 2009, the expected return on plan assets was 8.4%, which was reduced from the 2008 rate of 8.9% as a result of the negative returns in the capital markets and lowered expected future returns. For 2011, we further reduced the expected rate of return assumption to 7.5% from 8.4% to align our expected rate of return with our new asset allocation targets.
The discount rate used to measure pension expense each year is the rate as of the beginning of the year (i.e., the prior measurement date). The discount rate used was based on an externally published yield curve determined by the plan's actuary. The yield curve is a hypothetical AA yield curve represented by a series of bonds maturing from six months to 30 years, designed to match the corresponding pension benefit cash payments to retirees.
The salary progression rate to measure pension expense was based on age ranges and projected forward.
The following table provides a reconciliation of benefit obligations, plan assets and the funded status of the primary and supplemental pension plans. As of the end of 2011, the funded status of the primary plan was approximately 98%. The projected benefit obligation (PBO) is the present value of benefits earned to date by plan participants, including the effect of assumed future salary increases. Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the funded status of the plan exceeded 100% as of December 31, 2011 and 2010, the qualified pension plan's year end.
Obligations and Funded Status
(1) Includes plan administrative expenses.
(2) Included in other liabilities in the Consolidated Balance Sheets.
(3) Presented as prepaid pension in the Consolidated Balance Sheets.
(4) $45 million in 2011 and $28 million in 2010 were included in other accounts payable and accrued expenses on the Consolidated Balance Sheets, and the remaining amounts were included in other liabilities.
In 2011, the funded status of the primary plan decreased to a liability of $121 million as a result of a decrease in our discount rate, the special termination benefits under the VERP as well as lower actual return on plan assets. The actual one-year return on pension plan assets at the measurement date was 4.6% in 2011, bringing the cumulative return since inception of the plan to 8.9%.
The following pre-tax amounts were recognized in accumulated other comprehensive (loss)/income as of the end of 2011 and 2010:
(1) Approximately $231 million for the primary plan and $22 million for the supplemental plans are expected to be amortized from accumulated other comprehensive (loss)/income into net periodic benefit expense/(income) in 2012.
Assumptions to Determine Obligations
The weighted-average actuarial assumptions used to determine benefit obligations for each of the years below were as follows:
We use the Retirement Plans 2000 Table of Combined Healthy Lives (RP 2000 Table), projected using Scale AA to forecast mortality improvements into the future to 2017 for annuitants and 2025 for non-annuitants.
Accumulated Benefit Obligation (ABO)
The ABO is the present value of benefits earned to date, assuming no future salary growth. The ABO for our primary plan was $4.9 billion and $4.1 billion as of the end of 2011 and 2010, respectively. At the end of 2011, plan assets of $5.2 billion for the primary plan were above the ABO. The ABO for our unfunded supplemental pension plans was $272 million and $194 million as of the end of 2011 and 2010, respectively.
Primary Plan Asset Allocation
The target allocation ranges for each asset class as of the end of 2011 and the fair value of each asset class as a percent of the total fair value of pension plan assets were as follows:
Asset Allocation Strategy
The pension plan's investment strategy is designed to provide a rate of return that, over the long term, increases the ratio of plan assets to liabilities by maximizing investment return on assets, at an appropriate level of volatility risk. The plan's asset portfolio is actively managed and invested primarily in equity securities, which have historically provided higher returns than debt portfolios, balanced with fixed income (i.e., debt securities) and other asset classes to maintain an efficient risk/return diversification profile. In 2011, we shifted 15% of the plan's allocation from equities into fixed income. This shift in allocation was another step towards lowering the plan's volatility risk and matching the plan's investment strategy with a maturing liability profile. The risk of loss in the plan's equity portfolio is mitigated by investing in a broad range of equity types. Equity diversification includes large-capitalization and small-capitalization companies, growth-oriented and value-oriented investments and U.S. and non-U.S. securities. Investment types, including high-yield versus investment-grade debt securities, illiquid assets such as real estate, the use of derivatives and Company securities are set forth in written guidelines established for each investment manager and monitored by the plan's management team. In 2011, the plan exited all of the remaining Company's stock associated with the 2009 voluntary contribution of jcpenney common stock to the plan. ERISA rules allow plans to invest up to 10% of a plan's assets in their company's stock. The plan's asset allocation policy is designed to meet the plan's future pension benefit obligations. Under the policy, asset classes are periodically reviewed and rebalanced as necessary, to ensure that the mix continues to be appropriate relative to established targets and ranges.
We have an internal Benefit Plans Investment Committee (BPIC), which consists of senior executives who have established a review process of asset allocation and investment strategies and oversee risk management practices associated with the management of the plan's assets. Key risk management practices include having an established and broad decision-making framework in place, focused on long-term plan objectives. This framework consists of the BPIC and various third parties, including investment managers, an investment consultant, an actuary and a trustee/custodian. The funded status of the plan is monitored on a continuous basis, including quarterly reviews with updated market and liability information. Actual asset allocations are monitored monthly and rebalancing actions are executed at least quarterly, if needed. To manage the risk associated with an actively managed portfolio, the plan's management team reviews each manager's portfolio on a quarterly basis and has written manager guidelines in place, which are adjusted as necessary to ensure appropriate diversification levels. Also, annual audits of the investment managers are conducted by independent auditors. Finally, to minimize operational risk, we utilize a master custodian for all plan assets, and each investment manager reconciles its account with the custodian at least quarterly.
Fair Value of Primary Plan Assets
The tables below provide the fair values of the primary plan's assets as of the end of 2011 and 2010, by major class of asset.
(1) There were no significant transfers in or out of level 1 or level 2 investments.
Following is a description of the valuation methodologies used for primary plan assets measured at fair value.
Cash – Cash is valued at cost which approximates fair value, and is classified as level 1 of the fair value hierarchy.
Common Collective Trusts – Common collective trusts are pools of investments within cash equivalents, equity and fixed income that are benchmarked relative to a comparable index. They are valued on the basis of the relative interest of each participating investor in the fair value of the underlying assets. The underlying assets are valued at net asset value ("NAV") and are classified as level 2 of the fair value hierarchy.
Equity Securities – Equity securities are common stocks and preferred stocks valued based on the price of the security as listed on an open active exchange and classified as level 1 of the fair value hierarchy, as well as warrants and preferred stock that are valued at a price, which is based on a broker quote in an over-the-counter market, and are classified as level 2 of the fair value hierarchy.
Private Equity – Private equity is composed of interests in private equity funds valued on the basis of the relative interest of each participating investor in the fair value of the underlying assets and/or common stock of privately held companies. There are no observable market values for private equity funds. The valuations for the funds are derived using a combination of different methodologies including (1) the market approach, which consists of analyzing market transactions for comparable assets, (2) the income approach using the discounted cash flow model, or (3) cost method. Private equity funds also provide audited financial statements. Private equity investments are classified as level 3 of the fair value hierarchy.
Corporate Bonds – Corporate bonds are valued at a price which is based on observable market information in primary markets or a broker quote in an over-the-counter market, and are classified as level 2 of the fair value hierarchy.
Government, Municipal Bonds and Mortgaged Backed Securities – Government and municipal securities are valued at a price based on a broker quote in an over-the-counter market and classified as level 2 of the fair value hierarchy. Mortgage backed securities are valued at a price based on observable market information or a broker quote in an over-the-counter market and classified as level 2 of the fair value hierarchy.
Real Estate – Real estate is comprised of public and private real estate investments. Real estate investments through registered investment companies that trade on an exchange are classified as level 1 of the fair value hierarchy. Investments through open end private real estate funds that are valued at the reported net asset value "NAV" are classified as level 2 of the fair value hierarchy. Private real estate investments through partnership interests that are valued based on different methodologies including discounted cash flow, direct capitalization and market comparable analysis are classified as level 3 of the fair value hierarchy.
Other Fixed Income – Other fixed income is composed of futures contracts, option contracts, swap contracts, and other fixed income derivatives and are based on broker quote in an over-the-counter market and are classified as level 2 of the fair value hierarchy.
The table below sets forth a summary of changes in the fair value of the primary plan's level 3 investment assets.
Our policy with respect to funding the primary plan is to fund at least the minimum required by ERISA rules, as amended by the Pension Protection Act of 2006, and not more than the maximum amount deductible for tax purposes. Consistent with our discretionary contribution practice, on May 24, 2010, we used net proceeds of approximately $392 million from the issuance of $400 million of 5.65% Senior Notes due 2020 to make a voluntary cash contribution to the primary plan. Due to our past funding of the pension plan and overall positive growth in plan assets since plan inception, there will not be any required cash contribution for funding of plan assets in 2012 under ERISA, as amended by the Pension Protection Act of 2006.
Our contributions to the unfunded non-qualified supplemental retirement plans are equal to the amount of benefit payments made to retirees throughout the year and for 2012 are anticipated to be approximately $46 million. The expected contributions for 2012 have increased from $29 million in the prior year due to an increase in supplemental plan payouts associated with the VERP. Benefits are paid in the form of five equal annual installments to participants and no election as to the form of benefit is provided for in the unfunded plans.
Estimated Future Benefit Payments
Other Benefit Plans
Postretirement Benefits — Medical and Dental
We provide medical and dental benefits to retirees through a contributory medical and dental plan based on age and years of service. We provide a defined dollar commitment toward retiree medical premiums.
Effective June 7, 2005, we amended the medical plan to reduce our subsidy to post-age 65 retirees and spouses by 45% beginning January 1, 2006, and then fully eliminated the subsidy after December 31, 2006. As disclosed previously, the postretirement benefit plan was amended in 2001 to reduce and cap the per capita dollar amount of the benefit costs that would be paid by the plan. Thus, changes in the assumed or actual health care cost trend rates do not materially affect the accumulated postretirement benefit obligation or our annual expense.
Postretirement Plan (Income)
The net periodic postretirement benefit is included in SG&A expenses in the Consolidated Statements of Operations. The discount rates used for the postretirement plan are the same as those used for the defined benefit plans, as disclosed on page F-24, for all periods presented.
The table below provides a reconciliation of benefit obligations, plan assets and the funded status of the postretirement plan. The accumulated postretirement benefit obligation (APBO) is the present value of benefits earned to date by plan participants.
Obligations and Funded Status
(1) Of the total accrued liability, $3 million for 2011 and 2010 was included in other accounts payable and accrued expenses in the Consolidated Balance Sheets, and the remaining amounts were included in other liabilities.
The following pre-tax amounts were recognized in accumulated other comprehensive (loss)/income as of the end of 2011 and 2010:
(1) In 2012, approximately $(15) million of prior service (credit) and no net (gain) for the postretirement plan are expected to be amortized from accumulated other comprehensive loss into net periodic postretirement benefit (income).
The postretirement benefit plan is not funded and is not subject to any minimum regulatory funding requirements. We estimate that in 2012 we will contribute $4 million toward retiree medical premiums.
Estimated Future Benefit Payments
Defined Contribution Plans
The Savings, Profit-Sharing and Stock Ownership Plan (Savings Plan) is a qualified defined contribution plan, a 401(k) plan, available to all eligible associates. Effective January 1, 2007, all associates who are age 21 or older are immediately eligible to participate in and contribute a percentage of their pay to the Savings Plan. Eligible associates, who have completed one year and at least 1,000 hours of service within an eligibility period, are offered a fixed matching contribution each pay period equal to 50% of up to 6% of pay contributed by the associate. Matching contributions are credited to associates' accounts in accordance with their investment elections and fully vest after three years. We may make additional discretionary matching contributions.
The Savings Plan includes a non-contributory retirement account. Participants who are hired or rehired on or after January 1, 2007 and who have completed at least 1,000 hours of service within an eligibility period receive a Company contribution in an amount equal to 2% of the participants' annual pay. This Company contribution is in lieu of the primary pension benefit that was closed to associates hired or rehired on or after that date. Participating associates are fully vested after three years.
In addition to the Savings Plan, we sponsor the Mirror Savings Plan, which is a non-qualified contributory unfunded defined contribution plan offered to certain management associates. This plan supplements retirement savings under the Savings Plan for eligible management associates who choose to participate in it. The plan's investment options generally mirror the traditional Savings Plan investment options. As of the end of 2011, the unamortized balance within accumulated other comprehensive (loss)/income for the plan was $21 million. Similar to the supplemental retirement plans, the Mirror Savings Plan benefits are paid from our operating cash flow and cash investments.
The expense for these plans, which was predominantly included in SG&A expenses on the Consolidated Statements of Operations, was as follows:
The entire disclosure for pension and other postretirement benefits.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef