The pension de-risking trend continues. Farmington, Connecticut based United Technologies Corp. (UTC) will transfer $775 million of its outstanding pension benefit obligations under two of its retirement plans to The Prudential Insurance Company of America. HartfordBusiness.com, a publication of The Hartford Business Journal quoted Robin Diamonte, UTC’s chief investment officer as saying “This transaction is an important part of United Technologies’ long-term strategy to reduce future pension risk and expense”. UTC also offered certain retirees an option to take a one-time lump sum distribution. UTC expects approximately 10,000 retirees to accept the lump sum distribution. By year end, UTC will have reduced its pension obligations by approximately $995 million.
Thanks to the efforts of ProtectSeniors.org and Edward Stone Law, special counsel to the retiree advocacy group, UTC’s Connecticut based retirees do not have to worry that their annuity payments will be subject to creditors’ claims. ProtectSeniors.org and Edward Stone Law worked tirelessly with Connecticut legislators to enact Public Act 15-167 which went into effect on October 1, 2015 provides creditor protections to retirees impacted by pension de-risking transfers. The ground breaking Connecticut law is the result of bipartisan legislation sponsored by Rep. Robert Megna (D-97), Rep. Livvy R. Foren (R-149), Louis P. Esposito, Jr. (D-116) and Sen. Henri Martin (R-31). Connecticut was the first state in the nation to pass legislation protecting retirees in pension de-risking transfers.