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Bell Atlantic alters pensions for managers


In a move that reflects the increased mobility of the modern work force, Bell Atlantic Corp.'s board approved a plan yesterday to restructure the company's pension plan for 15,000 management employees.

The new plan, which will cover several thousand Bell Atlantic managers in Maryland, will be much more "portable" than the current plan, said company spokesman Eric Rabe.

Mr. Rabe said the plan, which will take effect Jan. 1, 1996, does not affect money in the pension plan now or tap into any overfunding of the current plan.

The plan replaces one that put a premium on spending a long career with the company. According to Joan Rasmussen, a Bell Atlantic spokeswoman, management employees previously could find that the amount for which they were vested quadrupled on the day of their 30th anniversaries. Employees were not vested at all until they reached five years of service.

The new plan levels out compensation so that early years are compensated according to the same formula as later years, Mr. Rabe said. It also lets employees who leave after only a few years of service move their pension money with them when they go.

"Twenty, 30 years ago, people came to the company expecting to stay here 20 to 30 years. That is not the case now," said Mr. Rabe.

The plan is similar to a 401(k) in some respects, but the money is not invested by the individual employee, Mr. Rabe said.

Ms. Rasmussen said the Philadelphia-based regional telephone company expects the plan to aid it in employee recruitment.

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