MA Hospital Moves from DB to 403(b)

September 28, 2010 ( - Morton Hospital’s approximately 800 non-union workers will have their defined benefit pension plan replaced with a 403(b) plan.

According to the Taunton (Massachusetts) Daily Gazette, President and CEO Maureen Bryant said the board of trustees of the Taunton-based facility approved the move because of a pension obligation exceeding $80 million. Under the new plan, which goes into effect November 4, employees defer pay into the plan up to the legal limit, with the hospital making a maximum 3% of pay contribution.  

Bryant said the switch to a 403(b) is part of an effort to fill a financial gap that’s forced the hospital to dip into cash reserves normally set aside for improving existing facilities and equipment, and for adding new ones. Rising pension costs, declining Medicare, Medicaid and private-insurance reimbursements, and reduced patient visits have put the non-profit, independently owned hospital located south of Boston in dire financial straits.  

Bryant also told the newspaper that she and her board of trustees want Morton’s 430 union workers to follow suit and substitute the 403(b) for their pension plan.