Singing River freezes pension plan; town hall meetings start Thursday

Singing River freezes pension plan; town hall meetings start Thursday

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - In a letter to employees, Singing River Health System's CEO Kevin Holland says the company's pension plan is now frozen. And in the next few months it will be officially liquidated. "Given the low percentage at which our pension plan is currently funded," Holland writes, "we are acting now to ensure we have as much funds as possible to maximize the options available."

Holland admits SRHS is losing $30 million a year, "a financial situation that is being addressed proactively," he writes.

SRHS froze the pension fund Saturday. Contributions by employees into that fund have been suspended. So when paychecks come out Thursday, Holland says they will not have the 3% defined contribution payment taken out.

So what's next for Singing River Health System's employees and their pension funds? Town hall meetings will begin Thursday. Hospital administrators will lay out employee options. "The process of ending the current Plan and establishing a new Defined Benefit Plan for you to consider will take an estimated three to four months to complete," Holland says in his Monday letter to hospital employees.

"Though we are going through some very challenging times right now," writes Holland, "our Mission in the community and our resolve to persevere remain strong."

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.