Friday, March 30, 2007


ROSS KERBER, BOSTON GLOBE - Fidelity Investments is eliminating its
traditional pension plan for roughly 32,000 of its employees. . .
The Boston mutual fund giant will instead offer workers increased
benefits in the company's 401(k) plan plus a new health-savings credit
to help pay medical expenses when workers retire, and will allow them to
roll their existing pension benefits into a Fidelity profit-sharing
plan. . .

Many troubled companies have eliminated pensions for new workers and
sharply reduced other retirement benefits . But a more recent trend has
emerged in which financially healthy companies have frozen pension
benefits for current workers, eliminated pension plans for new ones, or
both. Around one-third of Fortune 100 companies offer traditional
pensions to new employees, down from one-half in 2002 and 89 percent in
1985, according to Watson Wyatt Worldwide Inc., an Arlington, Va.,
consulting firm.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. of Ohio, for instance, said this year it will
freeze its pension plan for certain workers and require them to pay more
for medical benefits when they retire Also, last month California
computer giant Hewlett-Packard Co. said it would phase out pensions for
new hires and replace them with a 401(k).


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