<!-- Swiftype Variables -->

Defined benefit

Altria offering certain former employees lump sum or early annuity

Altria Group Inc., Richmond, Va., is offering about 8,200 former employees in its U.S. pension plan the opportunity to take a lump sum or early monthly annuity payments, said Steve Callahan, company spokesman, in an email.

The former employees, who are vested in the plan but have yet to receive benefits, have until Nov. 3 to take the offer. Lump-sum payments are scheduled to be distributed in December, Mr. Callahan said. Monthly payments, for those that choose the option, are scheduled to begin in January 2018.

Mr. Callahan did not say how much in pension liabilities the population represents.

As of Dec. 31, plan assets totaled $7.475 billion, while projected benefit obligations totaled $8.312 billion, for a funding ratio of 89.9%, according to the company's most recent 10-K filing.