ArcBest to shut down its pension program

Posted: November 9, 2017 at 2:06 a.m.

*CORRECTION: ArcBest plans to stop funding pensions for its non-union employees. This story incorrectly described the group of employees included in the plan.

ArcBest plans to drop its pension program, subject to approval by the IRS and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

The company expects approval in 2018. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the company said current retirees will not see their monthly payments interrupted or changed.

The Fort Smith company said it has worked for more than 10 years to keep its pension program going. In 2005, ArcBest stopped allowing new hires to enroll. By summer 2013, it halted benefit accruals for certain employees.

In its annual report earlier this year, ArcBest cited its unionized employees as a major factor in deciding the viability of its pension fund contributions. ABF Freight, a brand under the flagship ArcBest, has workers who are unionized. With few of its competitors having to pay union benefits, ArcBest said it is at a disadvantage with pension plans, because ultimately it has to pay toward underfunded plans, whose beneficiaries include employees at companies who no longer contribute to the funds.

Business on 11/09/2017