JPS Industries Inc., Greenville, S.C., will freeze its pension plan effective Dec. 31, Michael L. Fulbright, chairman, president and CEO, announced in a statement Monday. The plan had $93 million in assets as of Oct. 31, 2004, said Ellis Jackson, CFO. It had $118 million in projected benefit obligations, according to its latest 10-K filing on Jan. 30, 2004. Mr. Jackson declined to discuss pension liabilities.
"The highly competitive global manufacturing arena and pending legislation in Congress that will result in more onerous premium costs on companies that offer defined benefit plans made this a necessary course of action for our company," Mr. Fulbright said in the statement. "In conjunction with this change, we are enhancing our 401(k) plan to provide our employees with an improved retirement savings plan that is in their complete control in terms of investment strategy."
The 401(k) has $35 million in assets, Mr. Jackson said. The company will enhance 401(k) to match 40% of the first 6% of employees contribute, he added. That is an increase from the 25% match the company provided up to 1%BD;% of the participant's base compensation.
The company contributed $165,000 to its 401(k) plan for the year ended Nov. 1, 2003, according to the 10-K.
The pension plan still owns 20.3%, or 1.9 million shares, of JPS stock, purchased in 1999, Mr. Jackson confirmed.
JPS delisted in 2005 from SEC registration because of the cost of compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate regulation law, although company stock is still publicly traded, Mr. Jackson said. Because the number of its stockholders falls under the minimum required for SEC registration, the company no long files financial reports with the SEC, he said.