The PBGC said it took action because the company sold substantially all of its assets in bankruptcy proceedings and the buyer did not assume the plans.
A news release said the plans include:
- Chicago Sun-Times Office Employees’ Pension Plan
- Chicago Sun-Times Guild Employees’ Pension Plan
- 1986 Chicago Sun-Times Pension Plan
- Pioneer Newspapers Inc. Retirement Income Plan
- Retirement Plan for Bargaining Employees of Daily Southtown Inc.
- Retirement Plan for Employees of Star Publications Inc.
- Pension Plan for Salaried Employees of Holladay-Tyler Printing Corporation
The plans ended on October 8, 2009, and the agency assumed responsibility for the plans on August 4, 2010. The PBGC estimates the seven plans are 53% funded, with $55.8 million in assets to cover $106.5 million in benefit liabilities. The agency expects to be responsible for $49.1 million of the $50.7 million shortfall.
According to the news release, the Sun-Times and its units filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, on March 31, 2009. On October 8, 2009, the court approved the sale of substantially all the company’s assets to STMG Holdings LLC.
Last July, it was reported that the media group missed more than $800,000 in required quarterly contributions to five pension plans (see Bankrupt Newspaper Co. Misses Pension Payments).