DuPont discontinuing pension plan for employees

RP news wires, Noria Corporation

DuPont on August 28 announced that it will change its primary U.S. defined benefit pension plan and enhance its savings plan, effective January 2008.

 

“These steps are consistent with market trends in employee benefits and will enhance the company’s business competitiveness,” said James C. Borel, senior vice president, DuPont Human Resources. “The planned changes reinforce our commitment to help employees provide for a secure retirement. They also modernize the design of our savings and retirement plans for a new generation of employees, many of whom want more direct control and portability in their benefits.”

 

The changes reflect DuPont’s strategy of shifting retirement benefits toward the defined contribution and savings plans and away from the defined benefit pension plan. Key elements follow:

  • The defined benefit pension program for current employees will continue, with future accruals at a reduced level. For service accrued through 2007, the pension calculation will not change. For service accrued after 2007, the pension calculation will be reduced to one-third of its current level. Both segments of the benefit will continue to grow with pay until retirement.
  • Beginning January 2008, a significantly enhanced savings and investment plan will include 100 percent employee participation in the plan via a company contribution of 3 percent of each employee’s pay into his/her account.
  • Employees who contribute to the savings plan also will receive a 100 percent company match on the first 6 percent of their savings. This doubles the current company match, which is 50 percent up to 6 percent and enhances the company’s ability to compete for talent.
  • The company-paid survivor benefit, provided through the pension plan, will not continue to grow with service or pay after Dec. 31, 2007. The benefit employees will have earned up to that date will be fully preserved.
  • Effective January 1, 2007, new hires will participate in the enhanced savings plan. They will not be eligible to participate in the Pension and Retirement Plan and will not receive a company subsidy for retiree healthcare or retiree life insurance.

 

The changes do not affect DuPont's current U.S. retirees, former employees with vested benefits or current employees who retire or terminate prior to January 1, 2008.

 

The above plan amendments will have little effect on the company’s 2006 earnings. However, the company does expect to record a modest benefit to earnings over the balance of the year from a required third quarter re-measurement of its U.S. pension cost, to reflect the current market value of assets and interest rates. In 2007, the above plan amendments are expected to improve earnings by about $.03 per share and, beginning in 2008, by about $.05 per share.

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