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Companies that have transferred pensions to insurance companies

Pension Rights Center

Below is a list of employers that have transferred their pension obligations for certain retirees and former employees to insurance companies by purchasing annuities.

(Note: this is not a comprehensive list. These are only the changes that we are aware of, based on corporate press releases, news reports, and other sources.)

This practice differs from a standard termination of a pension plan, because it is done only for a portion of the participants in the plan, not all of them. Like offering lump-sum payouts, annuity transfers are a form of risk-dumping — a practice that the Pension Rights Center has criticized.

For more information, read our fact sheet about what happens when a pension is transferred to an insurance company.


  • Our testimony to the ERISA Advisory Council on protecting workers and retirees when employers offload their pension risk. (August 29, 2013)
  • On October 22, 2014, U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, sent a letter to the Departments of Treasury and Labor, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, requesting that the federal government establish clear and specific rules to protect the interests of employees and retirees in defined benefit pension plans.
  • Companies that are offering lump-sum pension buyouts.
  • Should you take a lump sum?
  • Companies that have made changes to their defined benefit plans (mostly freezes).
  • Companies that have reduced or eliminated their matching contributions to employees’ 401(k) plans.


Employer Retirees/Employees Affected
Bristol-Myers Squibb 24,000
International Paper 3,000
Raytheon 13,000
FedEx 41,000
05/20/2017 Sears Holdings Corporation approx. 51,000
04/01/2016 Diocese of Palm Beach unknown
10/01/2015 Philips Electronics North America Corp. 17,000 former U.S. employees and their beneficiaries
09/10/2015 West Pharmaceuticals Services 1,750 retirees
08/19/2015 Lincoln Electric Company 1,900 retirees
02/23/2015 Kimberly-Clark 21,000 retirees
01/22/2015 The Timken Company 5,000 retirees
12/17/2014 NCR Corporation** 4,500 retirees
12/16/2014 TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. more than 7,000 retirees
09/30/2014 Bristol-Myers Squibb 8,000 retirees
09/25/2014 Motorola Solutions, Inc. 30,000 retirees
07/16/2014 Visteon Corporation* an unspecified number of “hourly retirees”
02/26/2014 Heinz* the portion of 5,173 active and former employees and retirees who didn’t take a lump sum
11/13/2013 SPX Corporation** 16,000 retirees
10/17/2012 Verizon 41,000 retirees
06/01/2012 General Motors Co.* the portion of 42,000 retirees who didn’t take a lump sum


*lump sums were offered first

**lump sums were offered to another group of plan participants

Last updated: December 2018

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