J.C. Penney Co. is offering about 31,000 retirees in its definedbenefit pension plan the option of a lump-sum payment in exchangefor a lifetime monthly benefit.

The so-called lump-sum window will be open until September 18 ofthis year. Payments will be made from plan assets. As of the end oflast year the plan held $5.5 billion in assets and had a fundingratio of 104 percent.

The announcement comes after the IRS announced a prohibition on lump-sumofferings to retired workers already receiving theirpension, effective July 9.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.