Cincinnati -- Kroger Co. on Wednesday said it plans to withdraw from two multi-employer pension funds and will incur a charge of $56 million in the first quarter as it contributes that amount to restructure its pension obligations. The move is in line with the retailer’s desire to exert more control over employee-retirement programs.
"We are pleased to have reached agreements to help secure pension benefits that more than 2,000 associates have earned and to provide a future benefit that is competitive and affordable," said Mike Schlotman, CFO. "We intend to continue looking for opportunities to leverage our strong financial flexibility to safeguard our associates' benefits, increase certainty and control over future pension obligations, and continue delivering strong shareholder value."
The funds are the Washington Meat Industry Pension Trust, and The Pace Industry Union-Management Pension Fund.