The Hartford has entered into an agreement with Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU) for the company's pension plan to purchase a group annuity contract and transfer $1.6 billion, or 29 percent of The Hartford's $5.6 billion in U.S. qualified pension plan liabilities.

The agreement will transfer responsibility for current and future pension benefits for about 16,000 former employees, or about 38 percent of The Hartford's U.S. pension plan participants, to Prudential effective with the settlement of the transaction, which is expected to occur on June 30, 2017. There will be no change to the pension benefits for any plan participants as a result of this transaction.

"We are pleased that this transaction preserves these pension benefits while reducing the company's long-term pension obligations," said The Hartford's Chief Human Resources Officer Marty Gervasi. "We are grateful for the contributions The Hartford's former employees have made to the company, and the provider selected is a highly-rated, experienced retirement benefits provider in the industry."

As a result of the transaction, the company expects to recognize, in second quarter 2017, a pension settlement charge to net income of approximately $485 million, after-tax, and a reduction to stockholder's equity of approximately $140 million, or $0.37 per diluted share based on March 31, 2017 shares outstanding. In order to maintain the plan's pre-transaction-funded status, The Hartford intends to make a contribution of approximately $300 million by year-end 2017.

Those participants who are being transferred to Prudential will receive initial notice from The Hartford by the end of July and will receive detailed information from Prudential in mid-October. No action is required on their part at this time. All transferred plan participants will continue to receive their benefits from The Hartford's pension plan until November 1, 2017, at which time payment and administration will transition to Prudential. All other plan participants will remain in The Hartford's plan.

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