To be successful today and in the future, we must be able to build and motivate teams of high performers who come from different backgrounds and have different perspectives. This adds value to the diversity of our Sales Force, consumers, global business partners and vendors. We have a well-established, fine-tuned process for employing local residents who fit the needs of each community. The results are a local workforce whose skills increase significantly and who then have greater opportunity for future employment.
Local and global training programs place high potential leaders in assignments at major locations outside their home country in order to prepare them to take on leadership roles in their home locations and/or elsewhere with the company.
Tupperware Brands complies with, but does not use, regional minimum wage standards to define its compensation strategy for employees. Our salary programs are designed to attract, retain and motivate a highly productive workforce through the use of compensation programs that are internally equitable, externally competitive and that recognize good performance. These practices ensure that the employee pay structure is tailored to geographically competitive standards with the majority of our locations offering entry-level compensation that exceeds local minimum rates.
We offer defined benefit pension plans in several countries. The largest plans include the United States, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Belgium, Mexico and Australia. It is our policy to contribute to these plans where pension laws and economics either require or encourage funding. As such, most of our pension plans are funded through separate trusts. All funded plans are in compliance with local funding laws.
The Accumulated Benefit Obligation (ABO) under the U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), as of December 31, 2012, was $230.1 million for our defined benefit pension plans in total and those plans had assets with an aggregate market value of $118.3 million. Contributions to the defined benefit plans are determined by funding regulations, negotiations with trustees when applicable, and economics. The Management Committee for Employee Benefits (MCEB) approves any funding in excess of legal minimums.
We offer defined contribution plans in many countries and encourage employee contributions to the plans, and in some cases provides for matching contributions and other employer contributions. As we operates these plans in a variety of countries whose social securities laws vary widely, the plans also vary considerably between entities. In 2012, we contributed $8.7 million to these plans.
We also provide certain post-retirement healthcare and life insurance benefits for selected U.S. and Canadian employees. Government healthcare programs cover most employees and retirees outside the United States. U.S. and Canadian employees may become eligible for these company-provided benefits if they reach normal retirement age while working for us or satisfy certain age and years of service requirements. The medical plans are contributory for most retirees, with contributions adjusted annually, and contain other cost-sharing features, such as deductibles and co-insurance. The Accumulated Postretirement Benefit Obligation (APBO) relating to the postretirement plan under U.S. GAAP as of December 31, 2012 was $33.08 million. This plan is currently unfunded by Tupperware Brands and contributions are made to the plan to cover annual benefits as needed.