July 15--Northbrook-based Allstate Corp., which has named cost-cutting as one of its top priorities for 2013, is reducing some retirement and life insurance benefits in a move that it says will boost its book value per share by $1.70 to $2.
The changes include a new formula to calculate pensions, as well as ending retiree life insurance benefits for current employees.
Book value generally refers to assets minus liabilities. Allstate's current book value is about $44 a share.
Allstate also recently announced plans to lay off 348 workers in Woodridge.
Allstate's stock was trading at $51.17 in mid-day trading on Monday, up 0.1 percent. Since the start of 2013, its stock is up 28.7 percent, slightly lagging the gains of a Standard & Poor's 500 insurance index.
"The changes we are making to our employee retirement and life insurance benefits bring us more in line with benefits offered in the marketplace and distribute benefits more equally across all employees," Allstate spokeswoman Laura Strykowski said in a statement. She noted that Allstate provides workers with both a pension and a 401(k) plan.
"Today, just 30 percent of Fortune 100 companies offer both," she said.
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