Qwest Communications International
Total assets* 10,800
Defined benefit 8,500
Defined contribution 2,300
*according to estimates provided by the company
DEFINED CONTRIBUTION PLAN:
Corporate 401(k) 2,300
Englewood, Colo. - As of Sept. 30, Qwest Communications International's total employee benefit assets decreased 26% from a year earlier. Defined benefit assets decreased 22% during the same period; defined contribution assets decreased 38%.
During the past year, the fund merged the Qwest and former U.S. West 401(k) plans as of Jan. 1, 2002. At that time, the plan switched record keepers from Merrill Lynch to MetLife and made Bankers Trust the plan trustee, replacing Merrill Lynch. Qwest later replaced MetLife, which no longer provides record keeping for large defined contribution plans, and hired CitiStreet.
The company also created a trust, in which the defined benefit and 401(k) plans participate; Qwest Asset Management was named fiduciary. The trust investment is part of the small-cap to midcap stock fund investment option.
The defined contribution plan was amended as of April 8, allowing all participants to transfer the value of their Qwest common stock, which was received as the company match, to any fund available for investment within the plan.
Members of the defined contribution plan filed a putative class action against the company and some of its directors, alleging fiduciary breaches and a failure to disclose material information in connection with the decline in Qwest's stock value. The plan's company stock option lost $1.86 billion between Dec 31, 2000, and Dec. 31, 2001, dropping to $1 billion, according to Qwest's most recent 11-K filing with the SEC.
In December, the California State Teachers' Retirement System filed suit against the company after an investment loss of $150 million, which CalPERS alleges is the result of Quest's improper accounting practices. Those alleged irregularities are being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department.