Senior KFC executives opt for retirement as interest rates hit pension payouts, Wall Street Journal reports

FILE PHOTO - Vehicles line up around Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) after a state mandated carry-out only policy went into effect in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Louisville, Ky, U.S. March 24, 2020. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston

Oct 15 (Reuters) - Three senior KFC executives have notified the U.S. fried chicken chain's parent company Yum Brands Inc (YUM.N) that they will take early retirement as rising interest rates threaten to dent lump sum payouts for corporate pensions, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

KFC's U.S. Chief Operating Officer Monica Rothgery, Chief Financial Officer Trip Vornholt and Jeff Griffin, its director of national field operations will leave the company this year, the report said, citing company messages without specifying between whom.

KFC and Yum Brands did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

"Because of these interest rates, some associates across Yum! and its brands who qualify for pensions have decided to retire in 2022," the report quoted one of the KFC messages as saying.

Vornholt will leave at the end of November, the report said.

The Federal Reserve has raised its policy rate from near-zero in March to the current range of 3.00% to 3.25% as it battles inflation. A fourth straight 75-basis-point interest rate hike is expected next month after data on Thursday showed inflation accelerating faster than expected in September.

Reporting by Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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