The Association of U S West Retirees



Sprint Nextel Freezes Its Pension Plans For Some Workers
Saturday, January 21, 2006

NEW YORK -- Mirroring the moves of several other large companies, Sprint Nextel Corp. said it had frozen its pension plan for roughly 39,000 employees effective the beginning of this year.

Instead, those employees will be offered 401(k) plans with a matching contribution from the company up to 5%, leaving them to bear the investment risk of those plans themselves.

The move mirrors those of several other large companies that have announced similar maneuvers lately, including Verizon Communications Inc. and Internal Business Machines Corp.

The plans are frozen, which means the accumulated balances aren't affected, but the pensions won't grow with additional years on the job.

"We evaluated what the business landscape was and this was the appropriate balance," said a Sprint spokesman.

The company's plans were reported earlier in the Kansas City Star

Employees at the former Nextel Communications Inc., acquired by Sprint last year, didn't have pension plans, so will be unaffected by the plan.  Also unaffected will be the roughly 20,000 employees at Sprint's local telephone division, which is scheduled to be spun off by the company later this year.  That company will maintain that benefit program.

Sprint Nextel is based in Reston, Va.