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Vanguard backtracks on cutting medical benefits | Business Weekly Newsletter

Vanguard’s CEO has apologized for cutting a key medical benefit for workers and retirees, and more business news.

Vanguard CEO Mortimer “Tim” Buckley.
Vanguard CEO Mortimer “Tim” Buckley.Read moreTYGER WILLIAMS / MCT

Vanguard’s CEO has apologized for cutting a key medical benefit for workers and retirees. The Malvern investment firm restored the popular perk after facing a backlash from staffers.

Plus, Rite Aid told thousands of employees to permanently work from home. Hurricane Ida wrecked a water plant in the Philly suburbs. And officials at Pennsylvania’s biggest pension plan updated their financial disclosures as the FBI investigates the fund.

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Investment giant Vanguard has backtracked on plans to cut a popular medical benefit that workers depend on to pay healthcare costs. Some retirees stood to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars they accrued during their decades-long careers, my colleague Erin Arvedlund reports.

The $8 trillion asset management firm restored the retiree medical accounts, or RMAs, a day after abruptly terminating them. Vanguard CEO Mortimer “Tim” Buckley later issued a mea culpa to upset staffers, saying Vanguard’s decision to cut the benefit was “dead wrong.”

Vanguard has the right to end the RMA program at will, Arvedlund writes, but many current and former employees never expected the company to cut it completely and so suddenly. The benefit will now remain until the end of 2022.

What else you need to know ...

Other stories ...

  1. Rite Aid goes remote: The pharmacy decided that 2,800 employees won’t return to the office. It’s part of the company’s plan to transform Rite Aid into a “hyperlocal” chain and cut costs.

  2. Wawa adds self-checkout: The company piloted self-checkout in a few dozen locations and found the kiosks moved customers through stores faster.

  3. The latest on PSERS: Amid FBI scrutiny, the fund’s investment chief and three of his aides have amended their financial disclosures to reflect their positions on boards that own PSERS real estate.

  4. Water plants are at risk: Extreme weather events pose a growing threat to drinking-water systems, especially those located in flood-prone areas. Hurricane Ida wrecked one Chester County plant.

  5. Mysterious campaign cash: National Real Estate Investment Advisors is under federal investigation. A curious subplot in the saga is playing out in Delray Beach in Florida.

  6. Cancelled flights: Southwest Airlines canceled hundreds more flights Monday, including some in Philadelphia, after a weekend of service disruptions left travelers stranded across the country.

  7. Could Pennsylvania legalize weed? A Republican state senator and a Democratic state representative are teaming up on a bill to legalize recreational marijuana.

  8. Disappointing jobs report: Fear of the coronavirus and its delta variant is still keeping workers on the sidelines of the job market, U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh told The Inquirer.