Sprint Nextel Freezes Its
Pension Plans For Some Workers
By a WALL STREET JOURNAL
Saturday, January 21, 2006
NEW YORK -- Mirroring the moves of several other large
companies, Sprint Nextel Corp. said it had frozen its
pension plan for roughly 39,000 employees effective the
beginning of this year.
Instead, those employees will be offered 401(k) plans with a
matching contribution from the company up to 5%, leaving
them to bear the investment risk of those plans themselves.
The move mirrors those of several other large companies that
have announced similar maneuvers lately, including Verizon
Communications Inc. and Internal Business Machines Corp.
The plans are frozen, which means the accumulated balances
aren't affected, but the pensions won't grow with additional
years on the job.
"We evaluated what the business landscape was and this was
the appropriate balance," said a Sprint spokesman.
The company's plans were reported earlier in the Kansas City
Employees at the former Nextel Communications Inc., acquired
by Sprint last year, didn't have pension plans, so will be
unaffected by the plan. Also unaffected will be the roughly
20,000 employees at Sprint's local telephone division, which
is scheduled to be spun off by the company later this year.
That company will maintain that benefit program.
Sprint Nextel is based in Reston, Va.