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Retirement Benefit Plans
12 Months Ended
Dec. 26, 2015
Compensation and Retirement Disclosure [Abstract]  
Retirement Benefit Plans [Text Block]
Note 16: Retirement Benefit Plans
Retirement Contribution Plans
We provide tax-qualified retirement 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. Employees hired prior to January 1, 2011 are eligible for and receive discretionary employer contributions in the U.S. Intel Retirement Contribution Plan. Employees hired on or after January 1, 2011 receive discretionary employer contributions in the Intel 401(k) Savings Plan, which are participant-directed. Our Chief Executive Officer (CEO) determines the annual discretionary employer contribution amounts for the U.S. Intel Retirement Contribution Plan and the Intel 401(k) Savings Plan under delegation of authority from our Board of Directors, pursuant to the terms of the plans. Effective January 1, 2015, the U.S. Intel Retirement Contribution plan assets and future discretionary employer contributions are participant-directed.
For the benefit of eligible U.S. employees, we also provide a non-tax-qualified supplemental deferred compensation plan for certain highly compensated employees. This plan is designed to permit certain discretionary employer contributions and to permit employees to defer a portion of compensation in addition to their Intel 401(k) Savings Plan deferrals. This plan is unfunded.
We expensed $337 million for the qualified and non-qualified U.S. retirement contribution plans in 2015 ($286 million in 2014 and $298 million in 2013). In the first quarter of 2016, we funded $318 million for the 2015 contributions to the qualified U.S. retirement contribution plans.
Pension and Postretirement Benefit Plans
U.S. Pension Benefits. For employees hired prior to January 1, 2011, we provide a tax-qualified defined-benefit pension plan, the U.S. Intel Minimum Pension Plan, for eligible employees, former employees, and retirees in the U.S. Beginning on January 1, 2015, future benefit accruals in the U.S. Intel Minimum Pension Plan were frozen to all employees at or above a specific grade level, and generally covering all highly compensated employees in the plan. Starting in 2016, the impacted employees will receive discretionary employer contributions in the Intel 401(k) Savings Plan, instead of the Retirement Contribution plan. This change was contingent on receiving a favorable private letter ruling from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which we received in October 2014. As a result, our projected benefit obligation was reduced by $1.1 billion in 2014, most of which was also included as a change in actuarial valuation on the consolidated statements of comprehensive income.
The U.S. Intel Minimum Pension Plan benefit is determined by a participant’s years of service and final average compensation, as defined by the plan document. The plan generates a minimum pension benefit if the participants’ U.S. Intel Minimum Pension Plan benefit exceeds the annuitized value of their U.S. Intel Retirement Contribution Plan benefit. If participant balances in the U.S. Intel Retirement Contribution Plan do not grow sufficiently, the projected benefit obligation of the U.S. Intel Minimum Pension Plan could increase significantly. Consistent with applicable law, assets of the U.S. Intel Minimum Pension Plan are held in trust, solely for the benefit of plan participants, and are not available for general corporate purposes.
Non-U.S. Pension Benefits. We also provide defined-benefit pension plans in certain other countries, most significantly Ireland, Israel, and Germany. Consistent with the requirements of local law, we deposit funds for certain plans with insurance companies, with third-party trustees, or into government-managed accounts, and/or accrue for the unfunded portion of the obligation. The Ireland pension plan and one of our Germany pension plans were closed to employees hired on or after June 20, 2012 and January 1, 2014, respectively.
U.S. Postretirement Medical Benefits. Upon retirement, eligible U.S. employees who were hired prior to January 1, 2014 are credited with a defined dollar amount, based on years of service, into a U.S. Sheltered Employee Retirement Medical Account (SERMA). These credits can be used to pay all or a portion of the cost to purchase coverage in the retiree’s choice of medical plan. If the available credits are not sufficient to pay the entire cost of the coverage, the remaining cost is the retiree’s responsibility. Employees hired on or after January 1, 2014 are not eligible to earn a SERMA benefit.
Funding 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. postretirement medical benefits plan is discretionary under applicable laws and regulations, and is reviewed annually; additional funding may be provided as deemed appropriate. Depending on the design of the plan, local customs, and market circumstances, the liabilities of a plan may exceed qualified plan assets.
Benefit Obligation and Plan Assets
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. The changes in the projected benefit obligations and plan assets at the end of each period for the plans described above were as follows:
 
 
U.S. Pension Benefits
 
Non-U.S. Pension
Benefits
 
U.S. Postretirement
Medical Benefits
(In Millions)
 
Dec 26,
2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
 
Dec 26,
2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
 
Dec 26,
2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
Beginning projected benefit obligation
 
$
892

 
$
1,137

 
$
2,423

 
$
1,695

 
$
546

 
$
509

Service cost
 
18

 
88

 
128

 
104

 
30

 
26

Interest cost
 
33

 
49

 
63

 
66

 
21

 
23

Actuarial (gain) loss
 
126

 
760

 
(250
)
 
767

 
(21
)
 
10

Currency exchange rate changes
 

 

 
(190
)
 
(254
)
 

 

Plan curtailments
 

 
(1,083
)
 

 

 

 

Other
 
(79
)
 
(59
)
 
(34
)
 
45

 
(16
)
 
(22
)
Ending projected benefit obligation
 
$
990

 
$
892

 
$
2,140

 
$
2,423

 
$
560

 
$
546


 
 
U.S. Pension Benefits
 
Non-U.S. Pension
Benefits
 
U.S. Postretirement
Medical Benefits
(In Millions)
 
Dec 26,
2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
 
Dec 26,
2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
 
Dec 26,
2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
Beginning fair value of plan assets
 
$
623

 
$
649

 
$
1,017

 
$
1,005

 
$
427

 
$
395

Actual return on plan assets
 
(4
)
 
30

 
42

 
80

 
6

 
33

Employer contributions
 
90

 

 
72

 
73

 
1

 

Currency exchange rate changes
 

 

 
(66
)
 
(114
)
 

 

Other
 
(82
)
 
(56
)
 
(54
)
 
(27
)
 
(24
)
 
(1
)
Ending fair value of plan assets
 
$
627

 
$
623

 
$
1,011

 
$
1,017

 
$
410

 
$
427


The amounts recognized on the consolidated balance sheets at the end of each period were as follows:
 
 
U.S. Pension Benefits
 
Non-U.S. Pension
Benefits
 
U.S. Postretirement
Medical Benefits
(In Millions)
 
Dec 26,
2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
 
Dec 26,
2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
 
Dec 26,
2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
Other long-term assets
 
$

 
$

 
$
15

 
$
14

 
$

 
$

Other long-term liabilities
 
(363
)
 
(269
)
 
(1,144
)
 
(1,420
)
 
(150
)
 
(119
)
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (income), before tax
 
158

 
1

 
908

 
1,217

 
39

 
33

Net amount recognized
 
$
(205
)
 
$
(268
)
 
$
(221
)
 
$
(189
)
 
$
(111
)
 
$
(86
)

The amounts recorded in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) before taxes at the end of each period were as follows:
 
 
U.S. Pension Benefits
 
Non-U.S. Pension
Benefits
 
U.S. Postretirement
Medical Benefits
Years Ended
(In Millions)
 
Dec 26,
2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
 
Dec 26,
2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
 
Dec 26,
2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
Net prior service credit (cost)
 
$

 
$

 
$
(12
)
 
$
(13
)
 
$
(43
)
 
$
(48
)
Net actuarial gain (loss)
 
(158
)
 
(1
)
 
(896
)
 
(1,204
)
 
4

 
15

Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss), before tax
 
$
(158
)
 
$
(1
)
 
$
(908
)
 
$
(1,217
)
 
$
(39
)
 
$
(33
)

We use a 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. The period of amortization is the average remaining service of active participants who are expected to receive benefits under the plans.
As of December 26, 2015, the accumulated benefit obligation was $899 million for the U.S. Intel Minimum Pension Plan ($808 million as of December 27, 2014) and $1.6 billion for the non-U.S. defined-benefit pension plans ($1.7 billion as of December 27, 2014). Included in the aggregate data in the following tables are the amounts applicable to our pension plans with accumulated benefit obligations in excess of plan assets, as well as plans with projected benefit obligations in excess of plan assets. Amounts related to such plans at the end of each period were as follows:
 
 
U.S. Pension Benefits
 
Non-U.S. Pension
Benefits
(In Millions)
 
Dec 26,
2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
 
Dec 26,
2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
Plans with accumulated benefit obligations in excess of plan assets:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Accumulated benefit obligations
 
$
899

 
$
808

 
$
1,239

 
$
1,344

Plan assets
 
$
627

 
$
623

 
$
645

 
$
616

Plans with projected benefit obligations in excess of plan assets:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Projected benefit obligations
 
$
990

 
$
892

 
$
2,079

 
$
2,361

Plan assets
 
$
627

 
$
623

 
$
934

 
$
941


On a worldwide basis, our pension and postretirement benefit plans were 55% funded as of December 26, 2015. The U.S. Intel Minimum Pension Plan, which accounts for 27% of the worldwide pension and postretirement benefit obligations, was 63% 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 the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which sets required minimum contributions. Cumulative company funding to the U.S. Intel Minimum Pension Plan currently exceeds the minimum ERISA funding requirements.
Assumptions
Weighted average actuarial assumptions used to determine benefit obligations for the plans at the end of each period were as follows:
 
 
U.S. Pension Benefits
 
Non-U.S. Pension
Benefits
 
U.S. Postretirement
Medical Benefits
  
 
Dec 26,
2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
 
Dec 26,
2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
 
Dec 26,
2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
Discount rate
 
4.0
%
 
3.8
%
 
3.1
%
 
2.7
%
 
4.1
%
 
4.1
%
Rate of compensation increase
 
3.7
%
 
3.8
%
 
3.8
%
 
4.0
%
 
n/a

 
n/a

Weighted average actuarial assumptions used to determine costs for the plans for each period were as follows:
 
 
U.S. Pension Benefits
 
Non-U.S. Pension Benefits
 
U.S. Postretirement
Medical Benefits
 
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
Discount rate
 
3.8
%
 
4.6
%
 
3.9
%
 
2.8
%
 
4.0
%
 
4.2
%
 
3.9
%
 
4.6
%
 
4.2
%
Expected long-term rate of return on plan assets
 
6.1
%
 
5.4
%
 
4.5
%
 
5.7
%
 
5.7
%
 
5.2
%
 
7.4
%
 
7.4
%
 
7.7
%
Rate of compensation increase
 
3.8
%
 
3.8
%
 
4.1
%
 
4.0
%
 
4.1
%
 
4.3
%
 
n/a

 
n/a

 
n/a


For the U.S. plans, we developed the discount rate by calculating the benefit payment streams by year to determine when benefit payments will be due. We then matched the benefit payment streams by year to the AA corporate bond rates to match the timing and amount of the expected benefit payments and discounted back to the measurement date to determine the appropriate discount rate. For the non-U.S. plans, we used two approaches to develop the discount rate. In certain countries, we used a model consisting of a theoretical bond portfolio for which the timing and amount of cash flows approximated the estimated benefit payments of our pension plans. In other countries, we analyzed current market long-term bond rates and matched the bond maturity with the average duration of the pension liabilities.
The expected long-term rate of return on plan assets assumptions takes into consideration both duration and risk of the investment portfolios, and is developed through consensus and building-block methodologies. The consensus methodology includes unadjusted estimates by the fund manager on future market expectations by broad asset classes and geography. The building-block approach determines the rates of return implied by historical risk premiums across asset classes. In addition, we analyze rates of return relevant to the country where each plan is in effect and the investments applicable to the plan, expectations of future returns, local actuarial projections, and the projected long-term rates of return from external investment managers. The expected long-term rate of return on plan assets shown for the non-U.S. plan assets is weighted to reflect each country’s relative portion of the non-U.S. plan assets.
Net Periodic Benefit Cost
In 2015, the net periodic benefit cost for U.S. pension benefits, non-U.S. pension benefits, and U.S. postretirement medical benefits was $26 million ($36 million in 2014 and $230 million in 2013), $198 million ($165 million in 2014 and $116 million in 2013) and $26 million ($17 million in 2014 and $77 million in 2013), respectively.
The decrease in the U.S. net periodic pension benefit cost in 2014 compared to 2013 is primarily attributed to the one-time curtailment gain related to the freeze of future benefit accruals and lower recognized net actuarial losses.
U.S. Pension Plan Assets
In general, the investment strategy for U.S. Intel Minimum Pension Plan assets is to maximize risk-adjusted returns, taking into consideration the investment horizon and expected volatility to help ensure that there are sufficient assets 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 were 55% for equity investments and 45% for fixed-income investments in 2015. For 2016, the expected long-term rate of return for the U.S. Intel Minimum Pension Plan assets is 5.6%.
U.S. Intel Minimum Pension Plan assets measured at fair value on a recurring basis consisted of the following investment categories at the end of each period:
 
 
December 26, 2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
 
 
Fair Value Measured at Reporting Date Using
 
 
 
 
(In Millions)
 
Level 1
 
Level 2
 
Level 3
 
Total
 
Total
Equity securities
 
$
54

 
$
314

 
$

 
$
368

 
$
347

Fixed income
 
16

 
201

 
38

 
255

 
254

Other investments
 
4

 

 

 
4

 
20

Total assets measured at fair value
 
$
74

 
$
515

 
$
38

 
$
627

 
$
621

Cash
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
2

Total U.S. pension plan assets at fair value
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
$
627

 
$
623


A substantial majority of the fixed income investments in the preceding table are asset-backed securities, corporate debt, and government debt. Government debt includes instruments such as non-U.S. government securities, U.S. agency securities, and U.S. treasury securities.
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. The investment manager evaluates performance by comparing the actual rate of return to the return on similar assets. 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 is 50% equity investments and 50% fixed-income investments. For 2016, the average expected long-term rate of return for the non-U.S. plan assets is 5.3%.
Non-U.S. plan assets measured at fair value on a recurring basis consisted of the following investment categories at the end of each period:
 
 
December 26, 2015
 
Dec 27,
2014
 
 
Fair Value Measured at Reporting Date Using
 
 
 
 
(In Millions)
 
Level 1
 
Level 2
 
Level 3
 
Total
 
Total
Equity securities
 
$
274

 
$
56

 
$
15

 
$
345

 
$
521

Fixed income
 

 
610

 
34

 
644

 
476

Total assets measured at fair value
 
$
274

 
$
666

 
$
49

 
$
989

 
$
997

Cash
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
22

 
20

Total non-U.S. plan assets at fair value
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
$
1,011

 
$
1,017


Substantially all of the equity investments in the preceding table are invested in a diversified mix of equities of developed countries, including the U.S., and emerging markets throughout the world.
The majority of the fixed income investments in the preceding table are investments held by insurance companies and insurance contracts that are managed by qualified insurance companies. We do not have control over the target allocation or visibility of the investment strategies of those investments. Insurance contracts and investments held by insurance companies made up 33% of total non-U.S. plan assets as of December 26, 2015 (35% as of December 27, 2014).
U.S. Postretirement Medical Plan Assets
In general, the investment strategy for U.S. postretirement medical benefits 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, including the U.S., and emerging markets throughout the world. For 2016, the expected long-term rate of return for the U.S. postretirement medical benefits plan assets is 7%. As of December 26, 2015, substantially all of the U.S. postretirement medical benefits plan assets were invested in exchange-traded equity securities and were measured at fair value using Level 1 inputs.
Concentrations of Risk
We manage a variety of risks, including credit, liquidity, and market risks, across our plan assets through our investment managers. We define a concentration of risk as an undiversified exposure to one of the aforementioned risks that unnecessarily increases the exposure to a loss of plan assets. We monitor exposure to such risks in both the U.S. and non-U.S. plans by monitoring the magnitude of the risk in each plan and diversifying our exposure to such risks across a variety of counterparties, instruments, and markets. As of December 26, 2015, we did not have concentrations of risk in any single entity, manager, counterparty, sector, industry, or country.
Funding Expectations
Under applicable law for the U.S. Intel Minimum Pension Plan, we are required to contribute a minimum of approximately $10 million during 2016. Our expected required funding for the non-U.S. plans during 2016 is approximately $58 million.
Estimated Future Benefit Payments
Estimated benefit payments over the next 10 fiscal years are as follows:
(In Millions)
 
U.S. Pension
Benefits
 
Non-U.S.
Pension
Benefits
 
U.S.
Postretirement
Medical
Benefits
2016
 
$
57

 
$
26

 
$
19

2017
 
$
61

 
$
28

 
$
21

2018
 
$
69

 
$
31

 
$
24

2019
 
$
70

 
$
34

 
$
27

2020
 
$
70

 
$
37

 
$
31

2021-2025
 
$
362

 
$
251

 
$
214