Retirement Benefit Plans
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 28, 2019
|Retirement Benefits [Abstract]|
|Retirement Benefit Plans [Text Block]||
DEFINED CONTRIBUTION PLANS
We provide tax-qualified defined contribution plans for the benefit of eligible employees, former employees, and retirees in the U.S. and certain other countries. The plans are designed to provide employees with an accumulation of funds for retirement on a tax-deferred basis. For the benefit of eligible U.S. employees, we also provide an unfunded non-tax-qualified supplemental deferred compensation plan for certain highly compensated employees.
We expensed $379 million for discretionary contributions to the U.S. qualified defined contribution and non-qualified deferred compensation plans in 2019 ($372 million in 2018 and $346 million in 2017).
U.S. RETIREE MEDICAL PLAN
Upon retirement, we provide benefits to eligible U.S. employees who were hired prior to 2014 under the U.S. Retiree Medical Plan. The benefits can be used to pay all or a portion of the cost to purchase eligible coverage in a medical plan.
As of December 28, 2019 and December 29, 2018, the projected benefit obligation was $633 million and $547 million, respectively, which used the discount rate of 3.3% and 4.4%, respectively. The December 28, 2019 and December 29, 2018 corresponding fair value of plan assets was $553 million and $476 million, respectively.
The investment strategy for U.S. Retiree Medical Plan assets is to invest primarily in liquid assets, due to the level of expected future benefit payments. The assets are invested solely in a tax-aware global equity portfolio, which is actively managed by an external investment manager. The tax-aware global equity portfolio is composed of a diversified mix of equities in developed countries. As of December 28, 2019, substantially all of the U.S. Retiree Medical Plan assets were invested in exchange-traded equity securities and were measured at fair value using Level 1 inputs.
The estimated benefit payments for this plan over the next 10 years are as follows:
PENSION BENEFIT PLANS
We provide defined-benefit pension plans in certain countries, most significantly the U.S., Ireland, Germany, and Israel. The substantial majority of the plans' benefits have been frozen and beginning on January 1, 2020, future benefit accruals for the U.S. Pension Plan will be frozen to remaining eligible employees, which reduced our projected benefit obligation by $150 million at December 29, 2018.
BENEFIT OBLIGATION AND PLAN ASSETS FOR PENSION BENEFIT PLANS
The vested benefit obligation for a defined-benefit pension plan is the actuarial present value of the vested benefits to which the employee is currently entitled based on the employee's expected date of separation or retirement.
Changes in actuarial gains and losses in the projected benefit obligation are generally driven by discount rate movement. We use the corridor approach to amortize actuarial gains and losses. Under this approach, net actuarial gains or losses in excess of 10% of the larger of the projected benefit obligation or the fair value of plan assets are amortized on a straight-line basis.
As of December 28, 2019, all plans had accumulated benefit obligations and projected benefit obligations in excess of plan assets. As of December 29, 2018, the accumulated benefit obligations were $1.2 billion and $2.0 billion for the U.S. Pension Plan and non-U.S. plans, respectively. In 2018, the U.S. Pension Plan was in the net asset position and all non-U.S. plans had accumulated benefit obligations and projected benefit obligations in excess of plan assets.
ASSUMPTIONS FOR PENSION BENEFIT PLANS
We establish the discount rate for each pension plan by analyzing current market long-term bond rates and matching the bond maturity with the average duration of the pension liabilities.
We establish the long-term expected rate of return by developing a forward-looking, long-term return assumption for each pension fund asset class, taking into account factors such as the expected real return for the specific asset class and inflation. A single, long-term rate of return is then calculated as the weighted average of the target asset allocation percentages and the long-term return assumption for each asset class.
Policy. Our practice is to fund the various pension plans in amounts sufficient to meet the minimum requirements of applicable local laws and regulations. Additional funding may be provided as deemed appropriate. Funding for the U.S. Retiree Medical Plan is discretionary under applicable laws and regulations; additional funding may be provided as deemed appropriate.
Funding Status. On a worldwide basis, our pension and retiree medical plans were 65% funded as of December 28, 2019. The U.S. Pension Plan, which accounts for 32% of the worldwide pension and retiree medical benefit obligations, was 96% funded. Funded status is not indicative of our ability to pay ongoing pension benefits or of our obligation to fund retirement trusts. Required pension funding for U.S. retirement plans is determined in accordance with ERISA, which sets required minimum contributions. Cumulative company funding to the U.S. Pension Plan currently exceeds the minimum ERISA funding requirements.
NET PERIODIC BENEFIT COST
The net periodic benefit cost for pension and U.S. retiree medical benefits was $135 million in 2019 ($197 million in 2018 and $243 million in 2017).
PENSION PLAN ASSETS
U.S. Plan Assets
The investment strategy for U.S. Pension Plan assets is to manage the funded status volatility, taking into consideration the investment horizon and expected volatility to help ensure that sufficient assets are available to pay pension benefits as they come due. The allocation to each asset class will fluctuate with market conditions, such as volatility and liquidity concerns, and will typically be rebalanced when outside the target ranges, which are approximately 90% fixed income and 10% equity investments. During 2019, the U.S. Pension Plan assets were invested in collective investment trust funds, which are measured at net asset value.
Non-U.S. Plan Assets
The investments of the non-U.S. plans are managed by insurance companies, pension funds, or third-party trustees, consistent with regulations or market practice of the country where the assets are invested. The investment manager makes investment decisions within the guidelines set by Intel or local regulations. Investments managed by qualified insurance companies or pension funds under standard contracts follow local regulations, and we are not actively involved in their investment strategies. For the assets that we have discretion to set investment guidelines, the assets are invested in developed country equity investments and fixed-income investments, either through index funds or direct investment. In general, the investment strategy is designed to accumulate a diversified portfolio among markets, asset classes, or individual securities to reduce market risk and to help ensure that the pension assets are available to pay benefits as they come due. The target allocation of the non-U.S. plan assets that we have control over was approximately 45% fixed income, 35% equity, and 20% hedge fund investments in 2019.
The equity investments in the non-U.S. plan assets are invested in a diversified mix of equities of developed countries, including the U.S., and emerging markets throughout the world.
We have control over the investment strategy related to the majority of the assets measured at net asset value, which are invested in hedge funds, bond index funds, and equity index funds.
ESTIMATED FUTURE BENEFIT PAYMENTS FOR PENSION BENEFIT PLANS
Estimated benefit payments over the next 10 years are as follows:
The entire disclosure for pension and other postretirement benefits.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef