In 2014, the total costs of post-employment benefits amounted to EUR 241 million for defined-benefit plans and EUR 144 million for defined-contribution plans, compared to EUR 291 million and EUR 134 million respectively in 2013.
The above costs are reported in Operating expenses except for the net interest cost component which is reported in Financial income and expense. The net interest cost for defined-benefit plans was EUR 59 million in 2014 (2013: EUR 71 million).
2014 included past-service cost gains in the Netherlands of EUR 67 million, which were mainly related to the mandatory plan change in the Netherlands, where a salary cap of EUR 100,000 must be applied to the pension salary with effect from January 1, 2015. This change lowers the Company’s Defined Benefit Obligation which is recognized as a past-service cost gain. Compensatory measures are given in wages for employees impacted.
2013 included past-service cost gains of EUR 81 million, which included EUR 78 million related to the announced freeze of accrual after December 31, 2015 for salaried workers in the Company’s US defined-benefit pension plan. In the same US plan a settlement loss of EUR 31 million was recognized in 2013 following a lump-sum offering to terminated vested employees. This offering resulted in settling the pension obligations towards these employees. The past-service cost gain is allocated to the respective sectors of the US employees involved, whereas the settlement loss is allocated fully to Pensions in IG&S as it related to inactive employees.
The overall funded status of our defined-benefit pension plans in 2014 decreased compared to 2013 due to a decrease in discount rates used to measure the defined benefit obligation. The deficits recognized on our balance sheet increased by approximately EUR 393 million due to lower discount rates in the US and Germany and a new adopted mortality table in the US.
In 2014, further progress was made in managing the financial exposure to defined-benefit plans by two further buy-ins in the UK plan.
For further information, refer to Post-employment benefits.