The Washington Post and Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild have reached a tentative agreement on a new two-year contract that freezes the company’s traditional defined benefit plan and transfers remaining participants to an existing cash balance plan, effective Aug. 31.
Employees hired Sept. 1, 2009, or later already participate in the cash balance plan.
Once the contract is signed, the cash balance plan will be closed to new employees, who will be enrolled in the company’s existing 401(k) plan.
The company’s pension fund has about $371 million in assets and $169 million in liabilities for a funding ratio of 220%, according to a statement on the Newspaper Guild’s website. Cash balance assets are included in the overall pension fund total.
The tentative agreement was announced Thursday on the Newspaper Guild’s website. The union represents about 860 Post employees.
Also under the agreement, the Post agreed not to sell the pension fund’s liabilities to an insurance company.
Guild members will vote on the proposed agreement June 10.
The pension fund was frozen for non-union employees on Jan. 1, and participants were transferred to the cash balance plan.
A Washington Post spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for additional information.
The size of the 401(k) plan could not be learned by press time.