Friday, January 21, 2005

Letter to Senator Bingaman

Dear Sirs,

I have been a LANL employee for the past 17 years. I am concerned about
the upcoming change of contract. As you all know the current RFP states
that our retirement benefit must be at no more than 105% of a control
group. It is our understanding that our current UC retirement is at 170%
of this control group. This means that employees with more than 25 years
of service here at LANL and over the age of 55 will be forced to retire
for financial reasons on or before June 30. This could be a large number
of employees. The turnover of a large number of senior staff will cause
for a very chaotic environment here at LANL, making things worse for the
next several years, not better. Based on these possibilities I would
like to make the following recommendations:

- Remove the 105% barrier.

- Remove the word comparable from the RFP, use the word equivalent.
Define equivalent in financial terms.

- If a new contractor can not be chosen before June 30, delay the change
over period, otherwise senior staff will be forced to make a retirement
decision on June 30 based on the final RFP rather than the new contractor.

- Get employee/retiree representation on the contract committee. This is
the only way to assure that employee concerns are being considered.

- Let employees take over their own retirement if the new contractor is
other than UC. Transfer the amount of money from UC to an employee
account that is designated by each employee. Limits can be placed on the
amount that the new contract contributes to this account, but not how
much the employee has already earned during his tenure at UC.

Thanks for your listening to my concerns and suggestions.

Mark Zander

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