The Globe and Mail reports in its Monday edition that Bombardier is getting smaller, but its pension deficit is getting bigger. The Globe's David Milstead writes that the company's annual financial statements filed Thursday reveal that the deficit in the company's defined-benefit pension plans crept up to $1.97-billion at the end of 2019, versus $1.92-billion in 2018 (all figures U.S.). The numbers have remained stubbornly high in recent years even as Bombardier sheds businesses, employees and the pension obligations that come with them. The deficit in the company's pension plans spiked to $2.2-billion in 2016. While analysts and investors are focused on Bombardier's looming debt, the pension deficit is an additional obligation that has received less attention. On top of the pension, Bombardier also owed $273-million in other retirement benefits, such as health care, to its workers. The numbers could change dramatically if the company succeeds in disposing of more of itself. Chief financial officer John Di Bert said Thursday that about 40 per cent of the company's pension deficit comes from its transportation division and 60 per cent from aviation. Comanies these days typically offer only defined contribution plans.
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