Qwest Communications International Inc., Denver, will freeze future benefit accruals to its pension plan for current management employees, effective Jan. 1, the company announced Monday.
The freeze applies to both the Qwest Pension Plan and the Qwest Nonqualified Pension Plan and is expected to save the company $60 million annually.
Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements with the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers will not be affected.
“It is important for us to reduce costs, in part through the steps we are taking with the pension and management salaries, yet maintain competitive benefits and compensation for our employees,” Edward A. Mueller, Qwest chairman and CEO, said in a news release. “By continuing to match employees' contributions to our 401(k) plan, provide solid health benefits and not reduce salaries, we believe we are better positioned for future success.”
The Qwest Pension Plan had $7.2 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, Qwest spokeswoman Diane Reberger said. The size of the non-qualified plan could not immediately be learned.