The recognition of our restructuring charges required us to make certain judgments and estimates regarding the nature, timing and amounts associated with these restructuring actions. Our major assumptions included the timing and number of employees to be terminated, the measurement of termination costs, the timing and amount of lease obligations, and the timing of disposition and estimated fair values of assets available for sale. We developed a detailed plan and recorded termination costs for employees informed of their termination. We engaged independent brokers to determine the estimated fair values less costs to sell for assets we no longer used and which were available for sale. We recognized an impairment loss for assets whose carrying amount exceeded their respective fair value less costs to sell as determined by the third-party brokers. We also recorded adjustments to reflect actual proceeds on disposition of these assets. At the end of each reporting period, we evaluate the appropriateness of our restructuring charges and balances. Further adjustments may be required to reflect actual experience or changes in estimates.
(b) Annual impairment assessment:
We conduct our annual impairment assessment of goodwill, intangible assets and property, plant and equipment in the fourth quarter of each year and whenever events or changes in circumstance indicate that the carrying amount of an asset, CGU or a group of CGUs may not be recoverable. We recognize an impairment loss when the carrying amount of an asset, CGU or a group of CGUs exceeds its recoverable amount, which is measured as the greater of its value-in-use and its fair value less costs to sell. We first allocate impairment losses in respect of a CGU to reduce the carrying amount of goodwill and then to reduce the carrying amount of other assets in the CGU or group of CGUs on a pro rata basis. Prior to our 2014 annual impairment assessment, we did not identify any triggering event during the course of 2014 that would indicate the carrying amount of our assets and CGUs may not be recoverable.
Upon completion of our 2014 annual impairment assessment of goodwill, intangible assets and property, plant and equipment, we determined that the recoverable amount of our assets and CGUs, other than that of our semiconductor CGU, exceeded their respective carrying values and no impairment exists for such assets and CGUs as of December 31, 2014. Our semiconductor CGU, which arose from our 2011 acquisition of the semiconductor equipment contract manufacturing operations of Brooks Automation Inc. and our 2012 acquisition of D&H Manufacturing Company, has underperformed due to factors including: overall demand weakness in the semiconductor industry in recent years, the cost of investments we have made, operational challenges, and the cost, terms and timing of ramping new programs. In addition, in 2014, this CGU incurred higher than expected losses, primarily due to lower than anticipated customer demand for the year as well as operational inefficiencies and commercial challenges associated with the ramping of new facilities and new programs for a particular customer. We continue to work with this customer to resolve these issues. Primarily as a result of management's assessment of the negative impact of these factors on the timing and level of previously assumed future revenue growth of, and profitability improvements to, this CGU, we reduced our long-term cash flow projections of this CGU in the fourth quarter of 2014 and recorded an impairment charge of $40.8 against the goodwill of our semiconductor CGU in such period, reducing its balance from $60.3 to $19.5.
We determined the recoverable amount of our CGUs based on their expected value-in-use. The process of determining the recoverable amount of a CGU is subjective and requires management to exercise significant judgment in estimating future growth, profitability, and discount rates, among other factors. The assumptions used in our impairment assessment were determined based on past experiences adjusted for expected changes in future conditions. Our major assumptions included projections of cash flows, which are based primarily on our plan for the following year and, to a lesser extent, on our three-year strategic plan and other updates. The plan for the following year and the three-year strategic plan were both approved by management and presented to our Board of Directors. Where applicable, we worked with independent brokers to obtain market prices to estimate our real property values. For our 2014 annual impairment assessment, we used cash flow projections ranging from 2 years to approximately 9 years (2013 — 3 to 10 years; 2012 — 2 to 7 years) for our CGUs, in line with the remaining useful lives of the CGUs' primary assets. We generally used our weighted-average cost of capital of approximately 10% (2013 — approximately 12%; 2012 — approximately 13%), on a pre-tax basis, to discount our cash flows. For our semiconductor CGU, which is subject to heightened risk and volatilities (as a result of the factors discussed above), we applied a discount rate of 17% to our cash flow projections for this CGU (2013 — 17%; 2012 — 20%) to reflect management's assessment of increased risk inherent in these cash flows. We had reduced the discount rate for our semiconductor cash flow projections for 2013 to 17% compared to 20% for 2012 to reflect a perceived reduction in risk inherent in our semiconductor cash flows as a result of new business awarded in 2013. Despite the 2% decrease in the company's overall weighted-average cost of capital in 2014 compared to 2013, and new business awarded to this CGU in 2014, we maintained its 17% discount rate for our 2014 annual analysis in recognition of the challenges faced by this CGU.
As noted above, despite the challenges facing our semiconductor CGU, we continued to develop new business opportunities with our semiconductor customers in 2014. As a result, for purposes of our 2014 impairment assessment, we assumed growth for this CGU in 2015 and future years at an average compound annual growth rate of 10% over a 9-year period, representing the remaining life of the CGU's most significant customer contract. The growth rate is supported by new business awarded in 2014 and 2013, the expectation of future new business awards, and the anticipated overall demand improvement in the semiconductor end market based on certain market trend analyses published by external sources. We have also assumed that the average annual margins for this CGU over the projection period are slightly lower than the company's overall margin performance achieved in 2014, as we continue to ramp new business and leverage our capital investments.
Impairment assessments inherently involve judgment as to assumptions about expected future cash flows and the impact of market conditions on those assumptions. Future events and changing market conditions may impact our assumptions as to prices, costs or other factors that may result in changes in our estimates of future cash flows. Failure to realize the assumed revenues at an appropriate profit margin or failure to improve the financial results of this CGU could result in additional impairment loss in this CGU in a future period.
As part of our annual impairment assessment, we perform sensitivity analyses to identify the impact of changes in key assumptions, including projected growth rates, profitability, and discount rates. We did not identify any key assumptions where a reasonably possible change would result in material impairments to our other CGUs.
In 2013, we recorded no impairment against goodwill, intangible assets or property, plant and equipment as the recoverable amounts of our CGUs exceeded their carrying amounts.
(c) Pension obligation settlement loss:
In August 2014, we liquidated the asset portfolio for the defined benefit component of a pension plan for certain Canadian employees, following which substantially all of the proceeds were used to purchase annuities from insurance companies for those participants. The purchase of the annuities resulted in the insurance companies assuming responsibility for payment of the defined benefit pension benefits under the plan, and the employer eliminating significant financial risk in respect of these obligations. We re-measured the pension assets and liabilities immediately before the purchase of the annuities, and recorded a net re-measurement actuarial gain of $2.3 in other comprehensive income that was subsequently reclassified to deficit. The purchase of the annuities also resulted in a non-cash settlement loss of $6.4 which we recorded in other charges on our consolidated statement of operations. For accounting purposes, on a gross-basis, we reduced the value of our pension assets by $149.8 , and the value of our pension liabilities by $143.4 as of the date of the annuity purchase.