AK Steel

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, a producer of flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel products and other steel products, said its board has authorized to make an $84 million contribution to its pension trust fund months ahead of schedule.

The Middletown, Ohio-based company said it would make its full required 2006 pension contribution next week, more than five months before the final due date.

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"AK Steel is proud to continue honoring a retiree tradition unique in the steel industry," the company said. "In more than half a century, this company has not missed a pension fund contribution, nor a payment to any of its 32,000 pensioners."

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