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”).