A big problem with most companies that negotiate pensions, and I don't blame labor, they want a long term contract. Using Kodak as an example, no company regardless of how strong it is today can predict its stability 3, 5,or 10 years down the road. From the company's perspective the pension should be tied to the present labor contract and no longer. From an employees perspective maybe a plan where both pay into it to day where both may benefit. IMO.
Yes in 2013 Supervalu will do what Kroger did last December...issue new debt that matures in 2018 and apply that additional funding directly to the multi-employer pension fund and take a non-cash writedown. They will then retire that debt with internal cash flow in 2017 and 2018. Thank you for shopping at your local banner.