DALLAS — LTV Corp. will seek a waiver to suspend the company's annual scheduled payments to eight pension plans covering 100,000 active and retired workers, company officials said Friday.
"We're not saying that we want to quit making the payments. What we're asking for is just like an individual choosing to finance a car rather than paying cash," LTV spokesman Chuck Palmer said. "The waiver will relieve us of an immediate cash burden."
Palmer claimed there is enough money in LTV's trust fund account to cover the monthly pensions for the eight affected plans.
"Our employees and former employees will receive what's due. There's $1.5 billion dollars in the account, more than enough to cover the monthly payments to those people," Palmer added.
However, LTV officials say one of the company's 25 pension plans is depleted. That plan, not covered by the proposed waiver request, is for the salaried workers of Republic Steel.
"That means the Republic retirees will just get their money from the federal government instead of us," Palmer said. "We have made August payments--but we're not sure there's enough money in this particular account to pay September's pensions."
The Internal Revenue Service is to decide on LTV's waiver request for the eight LTV pension funds. The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. then would decide whether to terminate or take over the eight pension plans.
LTV's plan to request the waiver, which was announced Thursday, would allow the company to stretch $260 million in payments due in September over 15 years.
A PBGC spokesman declined comment on what the organization would do if LTV sought a waiver, but Gerald Facciani, a consultant for the PBGC, said he believed his company would urge the IRS to reject any such request.
LTV Corp., based in Dallas, filed for federal bankruptcy protection July 17.
LTV Steel and LTV Energy Products are subsidiaries.