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New London firefighters drop DC plan, join Connecticut retirement system

By: James Comtois, Pensions & Investments

Published November 20, 2014 - 8:35am CST

New London, Connecticut, firefighters are back to participating in a municipal defined benefit plan after being in a 401(a) defined contribution plan for 17 years, said Taylor Maxwell, a spokesman for Amalgamated Bank, which assisted the firefighters union.

PBGC deficit hits record $61.7B in 2014

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 17, 2014 - 1:12pm CST

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.'s deficit hit a record $61.7 billion in fiscal 2014, the agency said Monday.

Employer communications about health, retirement benefits lag: Survey

By: Matt Dunning

Published November 13, 2014 - 3:19pm CST

While a majority of employers say they want to improve their employees' understanding in health and retirement benefits, a recent survey says less have implemented the necessary communication strategies.

About 70% take Magnetek pension annuity conversion offer

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 13, 2014 - 1:48pm CST

Magnetek Inc. disclosed Wednesday that about 70% of its former employees who were vested but not receiving pension benefits accepted the company's offer to convert their future monthly annuities to cash lump-sum benefits.

Funding of very large pension plans drops in October: Milliman

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 10, 2014 - 11:09am CST

The funded status of very large pension plans sponsored by public companies slipped in October as falling interest rates, which increased the value of plan liabilities, more than offset investment gains, according to a Milliman Inc. survey released Monday.

401(k) plan account balances up sharply over 2013: Analysis

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 06, 2014 - 2:23pm CST

Aided by a robust equities market, employees' 401(k) plan account balances are substantially higher than they were a year ago, according to an analysis released Thursday by Fidelity Investments.

Buck program aims to help employees increase financial, retirement savvy

By: Shelby Livingston

Published November 06, 2014 - 12:18pm CST

Buck Consultants at Xerox Corp. has launched SavIncent, a financial wellness program designed to improve employees' financial health and promote retirement readiness.

Benefits broker Terrill launches own health benefits exchange

By: Matt Dunning

Published November 05, 2014 - 3:22pm CST

J. W. Terrill Inc. has launched its own private health benefits exchange, the St. Louis-based insurance and benefits broker announced on Wednesday.

Large companies' pension plan funding stable in October

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 05, 2014 - 1:29pm CST

The average funded level of pension plans sponsored by large companies held steady in October as falling interest rates, which boosted the value of plan liabilities, offset equity market gains.

Aon Hewitt unveils new health plan design for retirees

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 30, 2014 - 3:31pm CST

A new retiree health care benefits design unveiled by Aon Hewitt and linked to its private health insurance exchange will give Medicare-eligible retirees greater financial incentives to select more cost-effective plans.

Hartford offering to convert monthly annuity to cash lump sum

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 28, 2014 - 5:21pm CST

Hartford Financial Services Inc. is offering 13,500 former employees the opportunity to convert their future monthly annuity into a cash lump sum.

Boeing offers lump-sum, immediate annuity options to 40,000 former employees

By: Barry B. Burr, Pensions & Investments

Published October 28, 2014 - 3:04pm CST

Boeing Co. is offering an option of a lump-sum payout or an annuity to 40,000 former employees who have not yet retired, the first time the Chicago-based company has offered such choices from its existing defined benefit plans.

PBGC $284K payout start of millions for ailing multiemployer pension plans

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 28, 2014 - 2:41pm CST

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. said Tuesday it has paid out more than $284,000 — the first of what will be millions of dollars in payments — to cover benefits for 365 participants in two insolvent multiemployer pension plans.

PBGC takes over food wholesaler’s pension plan; warns of 2015 rate hikes

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 27, 2014 - 3:03pm CST

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has taken over the underfunded pension plan of White Rose Inc., an independent Carteret, New Jersey-based independent food wholesaler that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month and now is selling off assets.

Deferred annuity tax hurdle cleared

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 26, 2014 - 6:00am CST

A recent U.S. Treasury Department regulation cleared an obstacle for retirees wanting to use a chunk of their defined contribution plan accounts to purchase retirement annuities that don't pay monthly benefits until long after they have retired.

Pension plan annuity conversions poised to expand

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 26, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The number of employers offering an annuity conversion option to plan participants is set to increase as fewer employers offer traditional pensions.

Group takes on Medicare rules to promote value-based plan designs

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published October 26, 2014 - 6:00am CST

A Washington-based employer benefits lobbying organization is seeking changes to the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act that would make it easier for companies to implement value-based insurance designs in high-deductible health care plans with health savings accounts.

IRS allows use of annuities in target-date fund series

By: Robert Steyer, Pensions & Investments

Published October 24, 2014 - 3:33pm CST

The Internal Revenue Service on Friday said defined contribution plans’ use of a target-date fund series containing deferred annuities won’t violate IRS rules against DC plans discriminating in favor of higher paid employees, as long as other IRS guidelines are followed.

Daughters of Charity Health System church plan challenged

By: Hazel Bradford, Pensions & Investments

Published October 24, 2014 - 2:39pm CST

Another church-affiliated hospital system is being sued by employees challenging its defined benefit plan’s exemption from federal pension law.

IRS announces maximum 401(k) plan contribution limits for 2015

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 23, 2014 - 9:55am CST

The maximum contribution that can be made to 401(k) plans in 2015 will rise to $18,000, up from the current $17,500 limit, the Internal Revenue Service announced Thursday.

Ryder latest firm to offer lump-sum cash conversion from annuity

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 23, 2014 - 9:50am CST

Ryder System Inc. is offering to about 11,000 former employees the opportunity to convert their monthly annuity benefit to a cash lump-sum benefit.

New Orleans mayor creates pension reform group to sustain firefighters plan

By: Rob Kozlowski, Pensions & Investments

Published October 22, 2014 - 12:48pm CST

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed an executive order establishing a pension reform working group to recommend changes to the New Orleans Fire Fighters Pension & Relief Fund.

Lockheed Martin to forgo pension contributions in 2015 through 2017

By: Rob Kozlowski, Pensions & Investments

Published October 22, 2014 - 9:48am CST

Lockheed Martin Corp. announced Tuesday it has contributed $1 billion in contributions to its defined benefit plans thus far in 2014 out of an expected $2 billion and does not expect to make further contributions for at least three more years.

Colorado high court upholds COLA reduction for state pension fund

By: Meaghan Kilroy, Pensions & Investments

Published October 21, 2014 - 10:09am CST

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that the reduction to cost-of-living adjustments for Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association members approved under earlier legislation was constitutional, court documents show.

PBGC taking over underfunded plan of manufacturer that filed for bankruptcy

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 17, 2014 - 10:12am CST

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. said Friday that it is taking over the underfunded pension plan of Reichhold Inc., a Durham, North Carolina-based resin manufacturer that filed for bankruptcy last month.

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