'UPI Halts Pension Plan Payments'

Here's a story from the March 25, 1989, edition of Editor & Publisher:

United Press International, squeezing to become profitable, has halted payments to a management pension plan.

The move was designed to cut losses last year of $16 million and to help eke out a small profit projected for late this year.

If affected several hundred employees, including mangers and others who are not covered by the Wire Service Guild contract.

"It's just on hold," said UPI spokesman Dwight Geduldig. "We have no intention of canceling it. We suspended it."

He refused to disclose the savings.

In a letter to managers, UPI president Paul Steinle said the company "regrets the necessity" of stopping payments.

The belt-tightening move angered many managers, from whom the pension plan is a form of deferred compensation.

"I don't like it, but there's not much I can do about it," said one news executive.

In a similar, but unrelated, development, Guild president Kevin Keane said that UPI had not set up an employee-paid 401K pension plan that a contract signed last July calls for "as soon as practicable."

The 401K plan, which diverts a portion of paychecks into tax-deferred accounts, was originally proposed by UPI in November 1987.

"We're now talking 15 months," Keane said. "I call that a stretch."

Geduldig said a 401K plan was being established and was expected to begin in April for managers and union-represented employees.