Johnson & Johnson—Retirement Obligations Essay

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Johnson & Johnson—Retirement Obligations a. i. An employer with a defined-contribution plan pays into the plan either an annual lump-sum per employee or calculates payments based on the employees‟ current wages and or time of service with the firm. Under such a plan, the employer does not guarantee the future amounts employees will receive when they retire. The employees covered by a defined-contribution plan assume the risk for the pension plan‟s financial performance. Under a defined-benefit plan, the employer specifies the size and timing of the payments that the employees will receive when they retire. Typically, these retirement benefits are commensurate with the wages earned by the employee in his or her last few years of employment…show more content…
Interest cost is the imputed interest on the liability during the year. The pension obligation also changes because of actuarial gains or losses that occur with the pension plan when the actuaries change their assumptions. For example, the pension liability will decrease and the company will record an actuarial gain if the actuary reduces the present value of the expected future payments (for example, by increasing the discount rate or decreasing the rate of wage increases). Last, the pension obligation decreases when benefits are paid to retirees. Paying benefits satisfies the obligation. c. The pension plan‟s assets increase when the assets earn a return (interest, dividends, capital appreciation). When securities and investments held by the plan drop in value, the plan‟s assets fall too. The plan assets Johnson & Johnson—Retirement Obligations 1 © Copyright 2009 by Cambridge Business Publishers, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form for any purpose without the written permission of the publisher. increase when the company or the employees make additional cash contributions. Pension benefits are paid out when employees retire and this reduces the plan‟s assets. d. Pension expense is determined using the expected return on plan assets (not the actual return). The expected return on the assets reduces the expense. The pension plan assets are measured on the balance sheet each period at
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