Falcon Products Inc., St. Louis, received bankruptcy court approval to terminate one of its pension plans and replace it with a voluntary 401(k) plan, according to court documents. Judge Barry S. Schermer of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in St. Louis signed an order Friday authorizing changes to the company's collective bargaining agreement with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Local 272(T), Russellville, Tenn., which represents nearly one-third of Falcon's employees. The pension termination is part of changes to the union's contract, and the union did not file an objection to the company's Sept. 2 motion to modify the collective bargaining agreement. Court papers said the union's pension plan would be turned over to the PBGC.
Neither Jeffrey Speicher, a PBGC spokesman, nor Dallas Stepp, president of Local 272(T), returned calls by press time.
The bankruptcy court is slated to consider Falcon Products' request to terminate its other two pension plans at an Oct. 6 hearing. The three plans have a combined $28.6 million in assets as of November 2003, according to the company's most recent annual report. Court papers state the plans are underfunded by a total of $33.8 million.