Quote Originally Posted by RattyMouse View Post
Why did the UK pensioners have a claim against Kodak but none from elsewhere? It seems strange that only those in the UK got relief from Kodak in bankruptcy while the others were left out to dry.
I expect it is because the UK legislation imposes pension obligations on parent companies as well as directly on the employers. I also expect that the size of the UK pension claim was at least partially due to statutory restrictions on the investments that pension plans are able to make.

As I understand it, Kodak Limited (the UK employer) was similar to Kodak Canada - a wholly owned subsidiary of Eastman Kodak. That was how Eastman Kodak set up their worldwide businesses. As I understand it, all (or most) of the subsidiaries maintain(ed) their own pension plans.

As far as I know, none of the other international Kodaks are in bankruptcy. Certainly Kodak Canada isn't.

From what I have been able to gather, each of the international Kodaks, as well as Eastman Kodak, invested regularly the funds that their actuarial calculations indicated would be necessary to fund their pension obligations into the future. Most of those funds are held in a trust-like arrangement, and are immune from creditors.

The problems that have arisen are:

1) All the actuarial assumptions were based on normal market returns; and
2) To at least a certain extent, Eastman Kodak (and possibly others) were using current revenues to fund other, non-pension retiree benefits, like health plans.

As we all know, investment markets are far from what was once considered "normal".

I have seen at least one publication that indicated that the entire Kodak Limited pension shortfall is due to the reduction in interest payable on Government Treasury bills and similar, low risk investments.

In the case of the UK, there is a government fund intended to at least partially benefit those whose pension entitlements are not met due to employer shortfalls. That government entity was involved in the negotiations of the settlement, and is of the view that the assets being transferred to the UK pension plan are of considerably greater value than the value of the government's guarantee.