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    Sutter Health Commits Up To a Quarter-Billion to Employee Pension Plan

    Board of Directors Calls for up to $240 Million Investment by 2011

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 11, 2010 – Sutter Health’s Board of Directors approved an investment of up to $240 million to the Sutter Health Retirement Plan this year. This investment reflects the board’s ongoing commitment to keeping the pension plan fully-funded for more than 40,000 active and retired employees. Monthly installments of $60 million took effect beginning mid-September, with contributions extending through the remainder of 2010.

    “Employees are our most essential asset. It is their commitment to excellence that continues to distinguish our Sutter Health network as top quality health care providers,” said Mike Helm, Sutter Health senior vice president of human resources.

    He added “Although the U.S. and California economies continue to struggle, Sutter Health remains committed to supporting our valued employees through competitive pay and benefits, including a fully-funded pension plan.”

    Across the not-for-profit Northern California network, Sutter Health’s pension benefit represents a valuable piece of an employee’s total compensation. For example, a service employee hired today by a Sutter affiliate at a starting salary of $38,000 and who retires after 35 years can leave at age 65 with a lump sum of nearly $450,000 or a guaranteed income of about $6,400 per month for life.

    The health of company pension plans has been a concern nationwide for several years. Organizations across the U.S. fell behind on contributions as the national economy struggled. According to the latest figures from Mercer, an HR consulting firm, the funded status of typical U.S. corporate pension plans (pension plans sponsored by Standard & Poor's 1500 companies) was 76 percent at the end of September 2010. Sutter Health’s pension is fully funded – this means Sutter has enough money in the plan to pay for the benefits employees have earned now and will earn in the future.

    About Sutter Health
    Serving patients and their families in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns, Sutter Health doctors, not-for-profit hospitals and other health care service providers share resources and expertise to advance health care quality and access. The Sutter Medical Network includes many of California’s top-performing, highest quality physician organizations as measured annually by the Integrated Healthcare Association. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women’s and children’s services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient safety technology.

    About Sutter Health
    For more information about the not-for-profit Sutter Health network, please visit | |

    Kami Lloyd

    Sutter Health Media Line
    (916) 286-6695