January 12, 2007 1:30 PM, EST

Ryder to Switch from Pension Plan to 401(k)

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Ryder System said late Thursday that it will freeze its pension system and shift to a 401(k) savings plan, in a move that will affect about a third of its employees. The switch initially affects 9,400 of the truck leasing company's 27,000 employees, Ryder said in a statement.Workers with fewer than 20 years will be moved to the new program and will not lose pension benefits already earned, Ryder said.Switching to a 401(k), known as a defined-contribution plan, will allow Ryder to more easily calculate how much it will pay every year for retiree benefits. Over time, the program shouldbring some savings and eliminate “volatility” in costs, said Chief Executive Officer Greg Swienton, Bloomberg reported.Ryder is ranked No. 5 on the Transport Topics 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian trucking companies.