October 03, 2012
--- The list
of companies offering lump sum payments to help manage pension plan liability
continues to grow, with Equifax as the latest addition. ---
According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, in a
filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Equifax said it has
begun notifying "certain former employees of the Company of its offer to
pay their pension benefits in either a lump sum payable by December 31, 2012,
or a reduced monthly annuity that will commence December 1, 2012. The voluntary
lump sum payment option is based on the present value of the participant’s
pension benefit, and is payable at the participant’s election in cash or
rollover into a qualified retirement plan or IRA."
Equifax said it made the offer to 3,500 vested participants
in its U.S. Retirement Income Plan. The group represents about 20% of the
company’s total qualified pension plan liabilities, which were about $630
million as of December 31, 2011.
In recent weeks, there have been news reports that Thomson
Reuters, Visteon and Sears Holdings are also offering lump sum payments to
terminated, vested pension plan participants.
Other companies that have made this move include The Times
Co., NCR Corporation and auto giants Ford and GM (see “Times Co. Offers Pension Lump Sums”).