A change in corporate owners can be traumatic, but participants in the Washington Post Co.'s defined benefit pension plan and shareholders can take comfort from knowing that paying pension benefits won't be an issue. The $2.07 billion plan is 141% funded.
In August, Washington Post executives agreed to sell their famous newspaper to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, while keeping profitable interests that include television stations and for-profit education businesses. Washington Post officials declined to comment on how the pension fund assets would be divided between the companies.
According to the company's 2012 annual report, the pension fund had $2.07 billion in assets and $1.47 billion in liabilities. The company has not made contributions in recent years and does not expect to do so in 2013. In August 2012, the Washington Post Co. switched to a cash balance plan and offered early retirement incentives.
Investments gained $319.8 million in 2012 over the previous year, a return of 18.5%, following a gain of 14.7% gain in 2011 and 20.3% in 2010, according to the annual report. Pension fund investments are managed by Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb Inc., New York, managers of the Sequoia Fund Inc.