Crain Communications revamps DC plan

Crain Communications Inc., the Detroit-based publishing company and parent of Pensions & Investments, Wednesday announced a series of changes to its defined contribution retirement plan for 2017.

Starting next year, the Service Reward Plan, which has provided the company contribution to the DC plan based on employees' years of service, will be frozen.

Any company contribution for 2017 and beyond would come through the existing Crain Communications Inc. Profit Sharing Plan. The company will target a 2% contribution to the profit-sharing plan for 2017, according to Bob Recchia, Crain's chief financial officer.

The company contribution, which has averaged about 2% in recent years, will be based on Crain's financial performance, Mr. Recchia said. If performance targets are not met, there could be no company contribution. Crain's contribution to the Profit Sharing Plan will be capped at 4%, Mr. Recchia said.

There will be no changes to the Voluntary Savings Plan portion of the DC plan, into which employees can make their own pre-tax contributions.

KC Crain Jr., executive vice president and director of corporate operations for the 100-year-old privately owned company, said the change to the retirement benefits is “really about trying to get the company to where everybody is aligned. With total benefits and total compensation, we are really trying to reward performance.”

All Crain employees hired since Jan. 1, 2004, have been enrolled in the Service Reward Plan.

The Profit Sharing Plan had net assets of $103.4 million as of Dec. 31, 2015, according to the plan's 2015 Form 5500 filing.

Crain's defined benefit plan was frozen effective Jan. 1, 2012. It had an actuarial value of $43.1 million and a total funding target of $49.7 million, as of Jan. 1, 2015, according to the plan's Form 5500. For a funded ratio of 86.9%.

There were 767 active participants at the end of the 2015 plan year.