Employee Benefit Plans
|9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2011
|Employee Benefit Plans [Abstract]
|Employee Benefit Plans
Note 15. Employee Benefit Plans
Merrill Lynch provides pension and other postretirement benefits to its employees worldwide through defined contribution pension, defined benefit pension and other postretirement plans. These plans vary based on the country and local practices. Effective January 1, 2009, the Bank of America Corporation Corporate Benefits Committee assumed overall responsibility for the administration of all of Merrill Lynch’s employee benefit plans. Merrill Lynch continues as the plan sponsor. Refer to Note 15 to the Consolidated Financial Statements contained in the 2010 Annual Report for a complete discussion of employee benefit plans.
Defined Benefit Pension Plans
In 1988, Merrill Lynch purchased a group annuity contract that guarantees the payment of benefits vested under the terminated U.S. pension plan. Merrill Lynch, under a supplemental agreement, may be responsible for, or benefit from, actual experience and investment performance of the annuity assets. Merrill Lynch made no contribution under this agreement for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2011 and 2010. Additional contributions may be required in the future under this agreement.
The net periodic benefit cost of Merrill Lynch’s plans for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2011 and 2010 included the following components:
For the full year 2011, Merrill Lynch expects to contribute approximately $1 million to its nonqualified pension plans, $84 million to its non-U.S. pension plans, and $22 million to its postretirement health and life plans. Through the third quarter of 2011, Merrill Lynch has contributed $77 million to the non-U.S. pension plans and $17 million to its postretirement health and life plans.