Willis Group Holdings Ltd., London, will freeze its U.S. defined benefit pension plan, completing a process it started in 2007.
Effective May 15, Willis employees no longer will accrue benefits in the plan. On Jan. 1, 2007, the plan was closed to new employees.
Earlier this year, the brokerage announced it would freeze its company match to its 401(k) plan this year. It intends, after a review later this year, to restore the match sometime in the future.
One reason Willis officials decided to move away from a defined benefit plan is to limit its long-term exposure to the volatility of such plans, especially in the current economic downturn, the company said in a statement.
Willis had $579 million in U.S. DB assets and $293 million in 401(k) assets as of December 2006, according to the 2009 Money Market Directory.
Jerry Geisel is a reporter at Business Insurance, a sister publication of Pensions & Investments.