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Retirement Plans

Chicago Symphony Orchestra to shift to DC plan under new wage contract

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association will close its $45 million defined benefit plan for its musicians on July 1, 2020, said Stacie Frank, the association's chief financial officer.

The closing of the DB plan to new hires comes as the result of a tentative agreement reached April 27 between members of the Chicago Federation of Musicians, Local 10-208 of the American Federation of Musicians and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association's board. The musicians had been on strike for seven weeks.

Musicians hired after July 1, 2020 will automatically be placed in a newly created defined contribution plan, to which the CSOA will contribute 7.5% of employees' base salaries with no matching requirements, Ms. Frank said. Current musicians have the option of entering the new plan as of that date and freezing their current DB plan accruals before the DB plan will freeze for all participants on July 1, 2023. Musicians currently have the option of contributing to a voluntary 403(b) plan. Specifics regarding the new plan design have yet to be determined.

Leo Murphy, vice president of the Chicago Federation of Musicians, could not be immediately reached to provide comment.