The Washington Post’s parent company is freezing its defined benefit plan and transferring remaining participants to an existing cash balance plan, effective Jan. 1, 2015. The company is also offering a lump-sum option for all defined benefit participants.
Employees hired Sept. 1, 2009, or later already participate in the cash balance plan.
The changes were announced in a letter sent to union and non-union employees by Wayne Connell, vice president for human resources, which was obtained by Pensions & Investments.
The changes for unionized employees, who are represented by the Newspaper Guild, will have to be negotiated during bargaining talks that began Tuesday.
Non-union employees hired after Sept. 30, 2014, will not participate in the cash balance plan.
The company’s 401(k) plan will continue, but employer contributions will be cut to 1% from the current 5% for unionized employees. That reduction is already in effect for non-union employees.
In August 2013, the Washington Post Co. was sold to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and is now a privately held company. According to the company’s 2012 annual report, the pension fund was 141% funded, with $2.07 billion in assets and $1.47 billion in liabilities.