DENVER — Qwest Communications International Inc. has made major changes involving the company stock portion of its $2.9 billion 401(k) plan.
State Street Bank & Trust, Boston, was hired to be the independent third-party fiduciary for $377 million incompany stock in the 401(k) plan. Qwest Asset Management, the company's investment management subsidiary, had been the fiduciary.
Also, the company eliminated restrictions on participants selling their company stock.
And, Qwest plans to switch to a cash match from a company stock match in the near future. "Whenever the record keeper (CitiStreet, Quincy, Mass.) can get it done, we'll switch," said Donald J. Butt, vice president of Qwest Asset Management. He said a few technical issues have to be resolved first.
Qwest is switching the match "to give employees more flexibility with their investments," said Mr. Butt. The company match varies considerably depending on what the employee does, but the basic formula is an 81% match on 6% of pay for lower-paid employees and 100% on 3% of pay for management employees. It will stay the same after the company match switch to cash.
Commenting on the hiring of State Street, Mr. Butt said, "It's in the best interest of participants and the plan to have someone who was totally independent in charge of the (stock) fund," which holds 13% of the plan's assets .