Alcoa (AA) announced Monday that it will no longer offer pension benefits to most U.S. salaried employees it hires beginning March 1, joining a list of companies looking to curb retiree benefit costs.

The new employees instead will get a more flexible, beefed-up 401(k) retirement plan, the company said.

Under the new plan, Alcoa will contribute 3 percent of an employee's annual salary and bonus to the retirement account regardless of whether the employee contributes to the plan. In addition, the company will match the first 6 percent of salary that an employee contributes to the plan.

Alcoa said its new policy will not affect the pension benefits of current employees or retirees.

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Alcoa is the world's largest aluminum producer. It employs 129,000 people in 42 nations.