CNA Financial Corp., the commercial insurer majority-owned by Loews Corp., offered lump-sum payments to 11,000 former employees to encourage them to give up their pensions.
The program could reduce fourth-quarter earnings by as much as $65 million, Craig Mense, the chief financial officer of the Chicago-based insurer, said in a conference call today.
“The charge will be recognized when the lump-sum payments are made from the pension plan assets in December,” Mense said.
CNA joins Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. in seeking to limit the risk of swelling pension liabilities, which can climb as life expectancies increase and bond yields are lower than average. Hartford, based in the Connecticut city of the same name, last week said it offered voluntary payments to about 13,500 workers who had left the company.
CNA slipped 1 percent to $38.69 at 10:40 a.m. in New York.