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Sears Canada's revamped pensions and benefits program includes the following changes:
The company will not provide post-retirement medical, dental and life insurance benefits for employees who have not become eligible by Dec. 31, 2008.
The company will amend its pension plan effective July 1, 2008, by introducing a defined contribution component. New employees automatically begin enrollment in the defined contribution plan on this date.
Employee contributions toward the defined benefit plan will be discontinued and employees will keep all pension benefits accrued in the defined benefit plan up to and including June 30, 2008.
After June 30, 2008, future compensation growth will be included in calculating the defined benefit component of the pension plan, although no further service credit will be earned.
The company will match the first 4% of salary that employees contribute to the defined contribution plan and will match 50% of employee contributions from 5% to 7% of salary.
The changes do not impact current retirees.
The benefit changes are expected to save up to $25 million Canadian ($21.25 million) per year when fully implemented.