New York Times Co., New York, entered into an agreement with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. to purchase a group annuity contract to transfer about $235 million in U.S. pension plan liabilities.

The contract will transfer the benefit payment responsibilities for about 1,850 retirees and beneficiaries in the New York Times Cos. Pension Plan to MassMutual, according to an 8-K filing Tuesday with the SEC.

The transaction, which the company expects to finalize in early 2021, will be funded through existing pension plan assets, according to the filing.

It is the second pension buyout transaction with MassMutual that New York Times has made in the past several years. In 2017, the company announced it was purchasing two contracts from MassMutual to transfer a total of $225 million in liabilities from two of its U.S. pension plans.

That transaction transferred the benefit-paying responsibilities to MassMutual beginning Jan. 1, 2018, for some 3,800 retirees or their beneficiaries under the New York Times Cos. Pension Plan and The Retirement Annuity Plan for Craft Employees of the New York Times Co.

As of Dec. 31, 2018, the New York Times Cos. Pension Plan had $1.4 billion in assets, according to the plan’s most recent Form 5500 filing.

As of Dec. 31, New York Times’ overall pension plan assets totaled $1.649 billion, while projected benefit obligations totaled $1.661 billion, for a funding ratio of 99.3%, according to the company’s most recent 10-K filing.

New York Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy could not be immediately reached for further information.

Source: Pensions & Investments