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Two Newspaper Publishers Freeze Plans, Suspend 401(k) Matches

February 6, 2009
Related Topics: Retirement/Pensions, Policies and Procedures, Latest News

McClatchy Co. of Sacramento, California, and the St. Petersburg Times of Florida will freeze their defined-benefit plans to new employees and suspend matching contributions to their 401(k) plans.

McClatchy, whose actions are effective March 31, also is developing a new defined-contribution retirement plan to tie employer contributions partly to cash flow, said spokesman Peter Tira. He said details had not been determined yet.

McClatchy, which publishes The Miami Herald, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and 26 other newspapers, announced the changes on its Web site.

McClatchy has two DB plans, the $1.4 billion Master Trust Plan and the $850 million Knight Ridder Investments Savings Plan, according to Money Market Directory. Its two DC plans are the $315 million McClatchy Newspaper Deferred Compensation and Investment Plan and the $181 million Star-Tribune Master Savings Plan, also according to Money Market Directory.

On Thursday, February 5, McClatchy reported a $21.7 million loss for the fourth quarter, reflecting the declining value of its newspapers, and said in a news release that it plans deep cost cuts this year.

The St. Petersburg Times will freeze its $110 million defined-benefit plan and suspend its company contribution to its $214 million 401(k) plan, effective April 1, in response to the deepening recession, said spokesman Andrew Corty.

Filed by John D’Antona Jr. of Pensions & Investments, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce com.

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