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Pension Funds

New York Times transfers $225 million in liabilities in pension buyout

New York Times Co., New York, will purchase group annuity contracts from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. to transfer a total of $225 million in liabilities from two of its U.S. defined benefit plans, the company disclosed in an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

The purchase affects approximately 3,800 retirees or their beneficiaries under the New York Times Cos. Pension Plan and The Retirement Annuity Plan for Craft Employees of the New York Times Co.

MassMutual will take over benefit payments on Jan. 1, and the transactions are expected to be finalized early in the year, according to the filing. The premium, which has not been disclosed, was funded by pension plan assets, which included proceeds from an aggregate contribution of $100 million to the plans on Oct. 20.

The transaction, according to a news release included with the filing, is "part of the company's continued effort to manage the overall size and volatility of its pension plan obligations, and the administrative costs therein."

According to the plans' most recent Form 5500 filings, the New York Times Cos. Pension Plan and The Retirement Annuity Plan for Craft Employees of the New York Times Co. had $1.1 billion and $146 million in assets, respectively, as of Dec. 31.

New York Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha could not be immediately reached to provide further information.