The demise of traditional worker pensions at Boeing will help to make the company more competitive, says CEO Jim McNerney.

The share of Boeing employees not covered by a traditional fixed-pension plan will soon reach 80 percent, up from 15 percent last year, McNerney said during the first-quarter conference call Wednesday, reports the Puget Sound Business Journal.

The company's Machinist union members in Washington and Missouri, as well as the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, SPEEA, recently ratified new 10-year contracts that ended Boeing's fixed-pension plan in favor of company contributions to a 401(k) retirement savings plan.

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