UPDATED WITH STATEMENT: Murray Energy to cut off benefits for 1, - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

UPDATED WITH STATEMENT: Murray Energy to cut off benefits for 1,200 Consol retirees

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Murray Energy confirms that helth benefits for nearly 1,200 CONSOL Energy Retirees will be terminated. Murray Energy confirms that helth benefits for nearly 1,200 CONSOL Energy Retirees will be terminated.
St. Clairsville, Ohio-based Murray Energy has confirmed it will terminate health benefits of almost 1,200 Consol Energy retirees who worked in mines Murray purchased one year ago.

As of Dec. 31, benefits for salaried retirees, including medical, prescription drug and life insurance, will be stopped. The cutoff will not apply to union members.

A letter sent out earlier this month to those affected reads, “Please be advised that Murray Energy does not provide salary retiree benefit coverage for its retirees. When Murray Energy purchased Consolidation Coal Co., it agreed to provide salary retiree benefits at a level substantially similar to that provided by CONSOL for those retirees already receiving such retiree benefits, but only for a period of at least one year from the closing date of Dec. 5, 2013.”

Murray released the following statement April 29: "Murray Energy’s inability to provide these benefits is, in part, due to the destruction of the coal industry, including our markets, by the Obama Administration and its appointees and supporters, who have eliminated the livelihoods of thousands of coal miners, and their families, by the forced closing of 392 coal-fired electric power plants in America, now and in the immediate future. "Due to these action and devastated coal markets, Murray Energy is unable to support these benefits. Murray Energy is making this announcement at this time to allow affected salaried retirees of Consolidation Coal the opportunity to make other arrangements. Over 80 percent of the lost benefits can be made up with Medicare. Also, these former Consolidation Coal retirees have good pension benefits. The company has provided these salaried retirees with information on and access to alternate coverage."

Murray Energy Corporation is one of the largest employers in the U.S. coal industry.