International Paper transfers $1.3 billion in pension liabilities to Prudential
International Paper Co. (IP) said Monday it agreed with Prudential Insurance Company of America (PRU) to buy a group annuity contract and transfer $1.3 billion of its U.S. qualified pension plan benefit obligations. Prudential will assume responsibility for pension benefits and annuity administration for about 45,000 former employees, or their beneficiaries, who are receiving less than $450 in monthly benefit payments. The deal is expected to close on Oct. 3. International Paper expects to record a $400 million pension settlement charge in the fourth quarter. "First and foremost we are committed to ensuring our retirees' benefits are secure and maintained," said Chief Financial Officer Glenn Landau. "This transaction achieves that goal, while at the same time enabling International Paper to better manage future costs associated with our pension plan." International Paper's stock has gained 7.1% year to date through Friday, while Prudential's stock has edged up 2.2% and the S&P 500 has climbed 12.5%.
-Tomi Kilgore; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
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