Chalk up two more significant employers who are moving to distance themselves from future DB responsibilities, moves some suggest are based in part on new guidance issued by the IRS.

In separate announcements made last week, both the New York Times Company and Sears Holdings said they would be offering their former employees lump-sum settlements of pension benefits – decisions which will help considerably reduce their pension liabilities and provide a more positive economic outlook for both.

The moves follow recent decisions by automakers Ford and General Motors to offer one-time lump-sum payouts to retirees to reduce years of future pension liability.

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