Analyzing and Interpreting Pension Disclosures Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, the world’s…

Analyzing and Interpreting Pension Disclosures

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, the world's largest potash producer, is a Canadian corporation based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The company produces nitrogen and phosphate used to produce fertilizer. At the end of 20 1 I, the company controlled 20% of the world's potash production capacity, 2% of nitrogen production capacity and 5% of phosphate supply.


a. How much pension expense does Potash Corporation report in its 2012 income statement?

b. The company reports a $57 million expected return on pension plan assets as an offset to 2012 pension expense. In general terms, how is this amount computed? What is the purpose of using this expected return instead of the acrualgain or loss?

c. What factors affected the company's pension liability during 2012? What factors affected the pension plan assets during 2012?

d. What does the term funded staLUs mean? What is the funded starus of the 2012 pension plans and postretirement benefit plans?

e. The company decreased its discount rate on the pension obligation from 4.60% to 3.85% in 2012. What effect(s) does this decrease have on the company's balance sheet and income statement?

f How did Potash Corporation 's pension plan affect the company's cash flow in 2012?

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