According to Julie Albrecht, Sonoco’s Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, the voluntary contributions are projected to increase the funded status of the Company’s U.S. Defined Benefit Plans to approximately 100 percent. Sonoco previously closed its U.S. defined retirement plans at the end of 2003 and ceased additional benefit accruals at year-end 2018 involving all employees in the final average pay pension formula within these pension plans. “This is another significant step in our actions to de-risk our U.S. pension plans. By making the voluntary contributions, along with the Plan’s Investment Council action to increase the allocation of pension assets to fixed-income investments, we are taking advantage of our strong financial position to limit the impact of future market volatility to our free cash flow. This activity further supports Sonoco’s strategic initiatives of profitable growth and simplification,” said Albrecht. “These actions will not reduce any retirement benefits provided to the approximately 12,000 participants of Sonoco’s U.S. defined benefit pension plans.” Click "read more" below for additional information.
Total boxboard monthly production decreased 3.0 percent when compared to April 2018. The total boxboard operating rate was 95.4 percent for April. Total Solid Bleached Boxboard and Liner production was up 2.5 percent year to date; Recycled Boxboard production rose 1.7 percent year to date; and Unbleached Kraft & Gypsum declined 2.0 percent year to date.