Milwaukee Journal Sentinel publisher Journal Communications Inc. says that on Jan. 1 it will permanently freeze benefit accruals in its current pension plan and supplemental benefit plan. Instead it will offer enhanced 401(k) matching contributions to its employees.
CEO Steven J. Smith says the move will allow the company to maintain its financial flexibility while still offering a retirement benefit.
Starting next year, it will match 50 cents on every dollar up to 7 percent of employee's eligible pay, for a maximum match of 3.5 percent. Previously, it matched up to 5 percent of eligible wages for a maximum match of 2.5 percent.
The pension freeze will not affect retirees' benefits, said the company, which also owns and operates 33 radio stations and 13 television stations in 12 states.