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Walmart to change U.K. pension plan

Walmart Inc. plans to shift the cost of a pension plan for employees of its U.K. supermarket chain, Asda, to a specialist insurer of defined benefit pension plans, the companies said Friday in a news release.

Rothesay Life's $4.9 billion "buy-in" to the plan is a step toward a full plan buy-out expected to be completed in late 2020 or early 2021. That deal will give the Bentonville-based retailer a pre-tax charge to earnings of about $2.2 billion, and remove all future liabilities of the plans from the Asda and Walmart balance sheets.

After the buy-in, Rothesay Life will issue individual annuity policies to about 12,300 members of the Asda Group Pension Scheme, and will be responsible for paying members' benefits in full. The individual policies will replace a bulk annuity policy.

Richard Mayfield, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Walmart International, said in the release that the move "is good news for members of the scheme, simplifies the Asda balance sheet and will transfer our pension liabilities at a competitive price."

Walmart tried to sell Asda to rival British supermarket chain Sainsbury's earlier this year, but that deal was nixed by the U.K.'s regulatory authority.

-- Serenah McKay

Job fair, workshop schedule set in LR

Employers or vendors can still register to participate in a "new kind" of job fair scheduled for Friday at the West Central Community Center in Little Rock.

The Central Arkansas Human Resources Association is working with the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, Goodwill, Rock Region Metro and the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services on the job fair, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the community center at 4521 John Barrow Road.

A workshop will be held Wednesday at the center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for job seekers who want help in preparing a resume, assistance with professional attire and to practice job interviews. Wednesday participants will receive early access to the job fair from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday and receive a chance to win $100.

Employers and vendors can register online at the association's job website, Booths for employers are $50 and lunch will be provided.

-- Noel Oman

Arkansas index falls 5.56, ends at 432.36

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Friday at 432.36, down 5.56.

Ten index stocks fell with U.S. equities ending the week on a down note.

Shares of Bank OZK rose 2.15%. Tyson Foods Inc. rose 1.29%.

Dillard's shares fell 7.46%.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 10/19/2019

Print Headline: News in brief

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