Heard Off the Street: Pension ruling concerns retirees

By Len Boselovic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Companies interested in transferring pension obligations to insurance companies got the green light from a federal judge who denied a request to halt Verizon Communications’ transfer of $7.5 billion of pension obligations to Prudential Insurance.

“Hang on to your seat belt. This is going to be a major stampede now,” said Jack Cohen, 69, who retired in 1994 from what was then known as Nynex.

“This does not bode well for retirees,” the Yorktown Heights, N.Y., resident added.

Mr. Cohen’s concern is shared by many of the 41,000 retired management workers whose pension plans are being moved. They worry they are no longer protected by federal pension law and that their pensions will be guaranteed by state insurance funds rather than the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.


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