As Jack noted, today we are announcing the Tribune Publishing Company Employee Voluntary Separation Program 2015 (“EVSP” or “the Plan”). This program, which is an important step to position us effectively for the future and to respond to the challenging revenue environment within our industry, is voluntary. All non-union employees who have more than one year of service with the Company are eligible to participate in the EVSP.
The Plan offers several components, including:
Benefits Continuation for certain Health & Welfare Benefits
Eligibility for a Prorated Management Incentive Bonus (MIP), if applicable
Equity Vesting, if applicable
Retiree Medical, if applicable
During the Severance or Continuation Period, employees will continue to be eligible to participate in the following company health & welfare benefit plans:
Healthcare Flexible Spending Account
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
Health Savings Account
In addition, we are making the difficult decision to close the retiree medical program to all active employees as of December 31, 2015. In general and based on the individual Business Unit, employees currently eligible for the Company’s retiree medical program are defined in the Tribune Publishing Company Benefit Program (“Retiree Medical Program”) as an employee who has 10 or more years of service, was hired before April 1, 2003 and is at least 55 years of age as of the employees Last Day of Work. Based on the Company’s decision to close the plan for active members as of December 31, 2015, we have outlined the impact to employees below:
Non-EVSP Employee Impact: The Company’s retiree medical program will be closed to all active employees as of December 31, 2015; therefore the benefits under this plan will terminate for all active employees who remain employed by the Company after such date.
EVSP Employee Impact: Any employee who meets the eligibility requirements of the retiree medical program and will transition out of the Company as part of the EVSP will continue to remain in the program and receive benefits past the employee’s termination date, the plan closure date of December 31, 2015 or as long as the plan continues. The Company cannot guarantee that the Retiree Medical Program will be available to retirees at any time in the future and the Company reserves the right to modify, amend or terminate the Retiree Medical Program at any time.
Please find attached a more detailed summary of the Plan for more information. Additionally, every eligible employee will receive within the next five business days a personalized EVSP packet, which will be sent to their home address for review and consideration. In the packet, you will find several documents that will provide greater detail to help you understand the Plan, how to apply for the Plan, key action dates of the Plan and how the Plan will be executed overall. The packet will include:
Personalized Cover Note: Details your personal financial impact of the EVSP option
Summary Plan Description: Describes all the Terms and Conditions of the Plan including the Application Form and a Sample Separation Agreement and General Release
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Information About Post-Employment Benefits
Personalized Separation Agreement and General Release: Includes your personalized financial impact
TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THE PLAN, INTERESTED EMPLOYEES MUST SUBMIT AN APPLICATION BY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23.
We recognize that this is an important decision to consider. Please discuss the Plan with your managers, your family and your personal advisors to decide if the decision is right for you. Following the EVSP, the Company and the individual Business Units will evaluate the results of the program and assess next steps as there may or may not be a need for additional involuntary reductions.
The Human Resources team is fully prepared to support you through this change. Please do not hesitate to contact your local Human Resources Business Partner or me with any questions you may have about the Plan, to review how this EVSP option impacts you specifically, or to discuss how the closure of the Retiree Medical Plan may affect you.