BETHLEHEM, Pa. – With the recent announcement that Bethlehem Steel will be bought by International Steel Group, the status of pension plans for retired workers seems to be safe. In December 2002, company officials discovered that Bethlehem Steel’s pension plan was underfunded by $3.2 billion and would be turned over to a government agency. Nearly all retirees will continue to enjoy some benefits. Pension payments, which are being taken over by the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp., are expected to continue at about 90 percent of their former level. Still, Bethlehem Steel announced on Feb.7 it was seeking bankruptcy court approval to terminate health and life insurance benefits for 95,000 retired workers and their dependents on March 31 as a condition of the acquisition. A handful of credit unions serve Bethlehem Steel employees including Bethlehem Steel Workers No. 2 Federal Credit Union, the former Hennepin Steelworkers Credit Union (now called River Valley Credit Union in Spring Valley, Ill.), LTV Steel Salaried FCU in Cleveland, LTV Steel #1 FCU in Aliquippa, Pa. and Steel Valley Federal Credit Union in Cleveland.

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