SBC Communications Inc., San Antonio, Texas, appears to have begun the process of merging San Francisco-based Pacific Telesis Group's employee benefit operation with its own.
SBC named Mellon Bank master trustee for the $9 billion SBC defined benefit plan and the $11.6 billion PacTel plan.
Mellon had been PacTel's master trustee. The SBC plan had been with NationsBank.
Also, SBC named Bankers Trust trustee and record keeper for PacTel's $4 billion defined contribution plan; Bankers Trust performs the same functions for SBC's $2.3 billion DC plan. PacTel's record keeper had been Hazlehurst.
Roger Wohlert, managing director-finance and assistant treasurer, said efforts are onging to decide the best manner of managing the two giant pension funds. He said he expects the two defined contribution plans to be merged in the near future and that participants from the merged entity would have "the same investment options."
Currently SBC has six options - company stock, S&P 500 index fund, diversified equity fund, balanced fund, stable value fund and a bond fund - all but the company stock fund structured using outside index fund managers.
PacTel now has seven options, six with State Street Global Advisors, but Mr. Wohlert said the plans will be merged. Details of the merger are being worked out.
Becky Lamkin, director-retirement plan administration, said merging the defined benefit plans "is still under consideration; that's where we ultimately want to go, but we are still trying to determine the best way to get there."