U S WEST Inc., Englewood, Colo., will allow management employees who leave the company before retirement to receive lump sum pension benefits after Jan. 1, 1997. About 21,000 employees could be affected by the new benefit payment option approved by the board of directors.
Departing employees will become eligible to receive lump-sum pension payouts after five years regardless of age. Before the change, employees had to wait until they were 65 or retired to receive any pension assets. The lump sum may be rolled over into savings plan accounts.