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Note 7 Pension, Retiree Medical and Savings Plans


Our pension plans cover full-time employees in the U.S. and certain international employees. Benefits are determined based on either years of service or a combination of years of service and earnings. U.S. and Canada retirees are also eligible for medical and life insurance benefits (retiree medical) if they meet age and service requirements. Generally, our share of retiree medical costs is capped at specified dollar amounts, which vary based upon years of service, with retirees contributing the remainder of the costs.

Gains and losses resulting from actual experience differing from our assumptions, including the difference between the actual return on plan assets and the expected return on plan assets, and from changes in our assumptions are also determined at each measurement date. If this net accumulated gain or loss exceeds 10% of the greater of the market-related value of plan assets or plan liabilities, a portion of the net gain or loss is included in expense for the following year based upon the average remaining service period of active plan participants, which is approximately 11 years for pension expense and approximately eight years for retiree medical expense. The cost or benefit of plan changes that increase or decrease benefits for prior employee service (prior service cost/(credit)) is included in earnings on a straight-line basis over the average remaining service period of active plan participants.

In connection with our acquisitions of PBG and PAS, we assumed sponsorship of pension and retiree medical plans that provide benefits to U.S. and certain international employees. Subsequently, during the third quarter of 2010, we merged the pension plan assets of the legacy PBG and PAS U.S. pension plans with those of PepsiCo into one master trust.

During 2010, the Compensation Committee of PepsiCo’s Board of Directors approved certain changes to the U.S. pension and retiree medical plans, effective January 1, 2011. Pension plan design changes include implementing a new employer contribution to the 401(k) savings plan for all future salaried new hires of the Company, as salaried new hires are no longer eligible to participate in the defined benefit pension plan, as well as implementing a new defined benefit pension formula for certain hourly new hires of the Company. Pension plan design changes also include implementing a new employer contribution to the 401(k) savings plan for certain legacy PBG and PAS salaried employees (as such employees are also not eligible to participate in the defined benefit pension plan), as well as implementing a new defined benefit pension formula for certain legacy PBG and PAS hourly employees. The retiree medical plan design change includes phasing out Company subsidies of retiree medical benefits.

As a result of these changes, we remeasured our pension and retiree medical expenses and liabilities in the third quarter of 2010, which resulted in a one-time pre-tax curtailment gain of $62 million included in retiree medical expense.

The provisions of both the PPACA and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act are reflected in our retiree medical expenses and liabilities and were not material to our financial statements.

Selected financial information for our pension and retiree medical plans is as follows:

Pension, Retiree Medical and Savings Plans - Table 1


Pension, Retiree Medical and Savings Plans - Table 2


The components of benefit expense are as follows:

Pension, Retiree Medical and Savings Plans - Table 3

The estimated amounts to be amortized from accumulated other comprehensive loss into benefit expense in 2011 for our pension and retiree medical plans are as follows:

Pension, Retiree Medical and Savings Plans - Table 4


The following table provides the weighted-average assumptions used to determine projected benefit liability and benefit expense for our pension and retiree medical plans:

Pension, Retiree Medical and Savings Plans - Table 5

The following table provides selected information about plans with liability for service to date and total benefit liability in excess of plan assets:

Pension, Retiree Medical and Savings Plans - Table 6

Of the total projected pension benefit liability at year-end 2010, $747 million relates to plans that we do not fund because the funding of such plans does not receive favorable tax treatment.

Future Benefit Payments and Funding

Our estimated future benefit payments are as follows:

Pension, Retiree Medical and Savings Plans - Table 7

These future benefits to beneficiaries include payments from both funded and unfunded pension plans.

In 2011, we expect to make pension contributions of approximately $160 million, with up to approximately $15 million expected to be discretionary. Our net cash payments for retiree medical are estimated to be approximately $145 million in 2011.

Plan Assets

Pension

Our pension plan investment strategy includes the use of actively managed securities and is reviewed annually based upon plan liabilities, an evaluation of market conditions, tolerance for risk and cash requirements for benefit payments. Our investment objective is to ensure that funds are available to meet the plans’ benefit obligations when they become due. Our overall investment strategy is to prudently invest plan assets in a well-diversified portfolio of equity and high-quality debt securities to achieve our long-term return expectations. Our investment policy also permits the use of derivative instruments which are primarily used to reduce risk. Our expected long-term rate of return on U.S. plan assets is 7.8%. Our target investment allocation is 40% for U.S. equity allocations, 20% for international equity allocations and 40% for fixed income allocations. Actual investment allocations may vary from our target investment allocations due to prevailing market conditions. We regularly review our actual investment allocations and periodically rebalance our investments to our target allocations. In an effort to enhance diversification, the pension plan divested its holdings of PepsiCo stock in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The expected return on pension plan assets is based on our pension plan investment strategy, our expectations for long-term rates of return by asset class, taking into account volatilities and correlation among asset classes, and our historical experience. We also review current levels of interest rates and inflation to assess the reasonableness of the long-term rates. We evaluate our expected return assumptions annually to ensure that they are reasonable. To calculate the expected return on pension plan assets, we use a market-related valuation method that recognizes investment gains or losses (the difference between the expected and actual return based on the market-related value of assets) for securities included in our equity strategies over a five-year period. This has the effect of reducing year-to-year volatility. For all other asset categories, the actual fair value is used for the market-related value of assets.

Retiree Medical

In 2010, we made nondiscretionary contributions of $100 million to fund the payment of U.S. retiree medical claims. During the fourth quarter of 2010, we made a discretionary contribution of $170 million to fund future U.S. retiree medical plan benefits. This contribution was invested consistent with the allocation of existing assets in the U.S. pension plan.

Fair Value

The guidance on fair value measurements defines fair value, establishes a framework for measuring fair value, and expands disclosures about fair value measurements. The fair value framework requires the categorization of assets and liabilities into three levels based upon the assumptions (inputs) used to price the assets. Level 1 provides the most reliable measure of fair value, whereas Level 3 generally requires significant management judgment.

Plan assets measured at fair value as of fiscal year-end 2010 and 2009 are categorized consistently by level in both years, and are as follows:

Pension, Retiree Medical and Savings Plans - Table 8

Retiree Medical Cost Trend Rates

An average increase of 7% in the cost of covered retiree medical benefits is assumed for 2011. This average increase is then projected to decline gradually to 5% in 2020 and thereafter. These assumed health care cost trend rates have an impact on the retiree medical plan expense and liability. However, the cap on our share of retiree medical costs limits the impact. In addition, beginning January 1, 2011, the Company will start phasing out company subsidies of retiree medical benefits. A 1-percentage-point change in the assumed health care trend rate would have the following effects:

Pension, Retiree Medical and Savings Plans - Table 9

Savings Plan

Our U.S. employees are eligible to participate in 401(k) savings plans, which are voluntary defined contribution plans. The plans are designed to help employees accumulate additional savings for retirement, and we make company matching contributions on a portion of eligible pay based on years of service. In 2010, in connection with our acquisitions of PBG and PAS, we also made company retirement contributions for certain employees on a portion of eligible pay based on years of service. In 2010 and 2009, our total contributions were $135 million and $72 million, respectively.

Beginning January 1, 2011, a new employer contribution to the 401(k) savings plan will become effective for certain eligible legacy PBG and PAS salaried employees as well as all future eligible salaried new hires of PepsiCo who are not eligible to participate in the defined benefit pension plan as a result of plan design changes approved during 2010.

For additional unaudited information on our pension and retiree medical plans and related accounting policies and assumptions, see "Our Critical Accounting Policies" in Management's Discussion and Analysis.