DENVER (AP) – Fiber-optic network provider Qwest Communications International Inc. said Monday it will save about $100 million by stopping contributions to the pension plans of active managers and freezing their pay.
The move to stop adding to pension benefits on Jan. 1 will save $60 million in 2010, while declining merit pay increases will save $35 million next year, it said.
Combined with changes to benefits of employee health plans and life insurance, total savings will amount to about $100 million in 2010, the company said.
The moves impact active management employees –not retirees – and former employees or employees covered by contracts negotiated by the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Meanwhile, former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio says a federal judge should start from scratch in reconsidering his sentence for insider trading.
Nacchio was sentenced in 2007 to six years in prison and to pay $71 million. He lost an appeal of his conviction, but a federal appeals court ruled his sentence was too harsh because the trial judge overstated his gains.
If the judge starts fresh, Nacchio could introduce new evidence for her to consider. Federal prosecutors responded in court documents Monday that the judge isn't required to do so.
Prosecutors said Nacchio sold $52 million worth of stock in 2001 while knowing that Denver-based Qwest risked missing its sales targets.
Qwest shares closed earlier down 8 cents at $3.51.