Ohio Company Offers Employees Choice in DC Benefits

March 20, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Cleveland, Ohio-based Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. has announced new hires for its US company as of January 1, 2006 will be covered under an enhanced 401(k) plan.

In its announcement Lincoln said current US employees can choose to remain under the company’s existing retirement program, which includes both defined contribution and defined benefit plans or switch to a new program that provides enhanced defined contribution benefits while still maintaining a portion in defined benefit. The Company will also offer improved vacation benefits for new employees and those current employees electing the new program.

“As other companies completely eliminate their defined benefit programs and scale back their defined contribution benefits for new employees, we made a conscious decision to continue to offer these programs to our current employees and to provide new employees with retirement benefits that are very competitive in today’s marketplace,” said John Stropki, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, in the announcement. He said the new offering will provide employees with more flexibility in investing for their retirement.

Lincoln does not expect any meaningful change in retirement costs immediately as a result of the new offering, but does expect cost savings in future years.