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Health network’s full funding pumps up pension contributions

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in Employee Benefits Program,HR Management,Human Resources

A Northern California health care network pumped $60 million a month into its pension plan for more than 40,000 active and retired employees during the last quarter of 2010.

The board of directors of Sutter Health approved a $240 million investment in its retirement plan in 2010 and began the monthly contributions in September in an effort to keep the plan fully funded.

The not-for-profit network promotes its pension benefit as a valuable piece of an employee’s total compensation.

For example, an employee hired today at a starting salary of $38,000 and who retires after 35 years can leave at age 65 with a lump sum of nearly $450,000 or a guaranteed income of about $6,400 per month for life.

Senior VP of HR Mike Helm points out that the typical U.S. corporate pension plan was 76% funded in September. Sutter Health’s 100%-funded plan ensures it has enough money to pay for the benefits employees have earned now and in the future.

Contact: Mike Helm, helmm@sutterhealth.org.

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