LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — The bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse has informed hundreds of current and former employees they won't be getting all the pension benefits they were counting on for their retirement.

In a letter to members of the Lay Employees' Retirement Plan, Bishop William Patrick Callahan says the diocese is terminating the pension plan, which was frozen in 2007 and had been underfunded for years. The plan covers Catholic school teachers, rectory workers, custodians, secretaries and other employees in 19 west-central Wisconsin counties.

The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reports an estimated 1,000 people could be affected by the decision. The bishop's letter says funds in the plan will be distributed as a one-time lump sum payment to eligible participants. Monthly payments will continue until the final payout is made, likely sometime this summer.


Information from: Leader-Telegram,