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Former Thyssen Krupp workers see $105 million pension bump

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Gazette staff
December 4, 2010
— Former workers at ThyssenKrupp in Janesville earned some financial security Friday when it was announced that their pension plan will get a $105 million boost over the next four years.

The federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. said it had reached a deal with GLH, an affiliate of ThyssenKrupp, to accelerate the pension plan funding.


The agreement stems from the January 2009 closure of ThyssenKrupp’s plant in Janesville, where 163 active participants in the GLH Retirement Plan lost their jobs.


Typically, the federal program assumes responsibility for failed pension plans, but in this case, the GLH pension plan continues to cover nearly 4,800 participants at several GLH facilities.


The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974—the federal pension law that created the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.—requires the agency to seek additional protection when more than 20 percent of a company’s employees covered by a pension plan lose their jobs because of a facility closure.


Under the agreement, GLH made a $60 million payment to the plan in August. It is scheduled to make three payments of $10 million each over the next three years, followed by a $15.4 million payment in early 2014.


The final three payments, however, will be reduced or forgiven if the GLH plan becomes fully funded. The payments are above and beyond the company’s required plan contributions and can’t be used to create a funding surplus to offset future plan contributions.



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