Thursday, March 31, 2005

I will welcome them with open arms

From Anonymous:

You know, given the miserable performance of UC during the past 9 months, if LockMart has an equivalent benefits package I will welcome them with open arms as the new owner of LANL.

Dynes, Foley: do not worry, you will not be missed.

Oh, and thanks for Nanos.

Agreed, except that LOCKMART does NOT have an equivalent benefits package in the area of retirement. That may not matter as even if UC wins, the retirement package will likely be changed and not toward the better!
Careful what you wish for. If LOCKMART provides the same pension plan for LANL as Sandia, you will loose a lot. Severe penalties for retirement before age 62, and only a 2.0 multiplier at age 62. Best to check with your lawyer to fully understand what "substantially equivalent" means, because your goig to have to fight for it.
I understand change happens, and reduced benefits are the wave of the future. What I do not understand is why I can't keep what I have already earned, and simply, start over with the new contractor. Being forced to buy my own job with my pension, really does suck. My job will cost me 344k, yet I only intended to work 5 more years. We all have tough decisions to make.
Too bad we will all probably sit buy and wait for "it" to happen. Can you imagine if we could actually participate in the decision of "substantially equivalent"? I'm not proposing a union, but I really do not want to go crawling on my hands and knees back to Saint Pete or any of the ligislature. If we can figure out how to take control, we will all be less angry. IDEAS??

Yes, leave if the benefits are not acceptable. That's what I will be doing.
I agree with the 7:19 AM post. Along with the work environment, the retirement is the issue of importance. We may be forced to leave to keep the 2.5 multiplier.
I would welcome L-M with open arms. Frankly, the pension is less of a concern than the lousy management by UC.
Do the math... Unless there are some good additional benefits, you must work longer to obtain the same annuity. At age 60, the difference is .7%/yr. This means that every ten years of service is worth 7% less. So, for 30 years of service, the retirement is 21% less. This means that you must work another 8-10 years to obtain the same benefit.
I am happy for those of you who are young enough that this won't matter. When we were your age, we also believed that life was boundless. But as you get older, you will realize that you will give up another ten years of what remains of your life, perhaps 15 to 20 years, to live comfortably.
But I am happy for those who wish to work an extra ten years for that which was promised to them when they came to LANL.
"Substantially equivalent" could be construed to include a 401(k) Defined Contribution match, which we do not receive with the 403(b). Both the 403(b) and the Defined Benefit pension are part of the UC pension plan.
When Lockheed took over Sandia, it originally had a 1.5 multiplier. This was changed in 2002 with great fanfare (via Sen Domenici) to 2.0 at age 62. I hope L-M does better on this proposal.

"Leave if the benefits are not acceptable"
OK, this works for those at the beginning or end of their careers. But what if you have spent 25 years at LANL? With the stroke of a pen, it seems, they can retroactively change the pension 'rules' for those years. You can't take the years back in a 'do-over'.

Remember ancient history, when serfs went with the property? I agree with the poster from 7:12. I should be able to keep what I have now, keep my job, and start over with the new contractor. The interim version of the RFP has employees quitting to achieve that- with no guaranteed job. NNSA has cratered to the contractors interests.

If the final version of the RFP has that kind of language or guts the pension we have already earned, we should all go and immediately join the union, starting a lawsuit. (Serf Revolt!)

Regardless of how one might feel about unions, I believe they are the ONLY government-recognized employee group with legal standing. Perhaps someone with direct knowledge of corporate law will post...
Pretty simple choice to me: if the new contract looks like it will have an unacceptable benefits package, and you are of an age to retire, then retire to preserve what you have put in the UCRP system. Then, if you weren't ready to retire, or cannot afford to live on your premature retirement, either go work somewhere else, or apply to work for the new contractor, if they will have you.

That's life: sometimes it is just time to move on, like it or not.
X-nay to the suggestion of a Union.
I agree with 6:05 pm.

We'll wait and see of course, but the bottom line is that everyone who's vested will have to decide what's best for their situation.

That's life.

7:12 am. Of course we'll sit by and watch "it" happen. What are you going to do, write your congressman and get a form letter back? As we sit and watch however, some will be prepared as events unfold and some will not. Like everything else in life.

I would only be angry with myself for not being prepared.

I'm thinking of investing in Los Alamos real estate, what do you think? I'm expecting a lot of new hires, and all the retirees to stay here, so the prices can only go higher, no?
No, there is a good possibility that housing prices will go down. We proved last summer to a lot of (now) former customers that LANL is not a good place to send money. I believe we will be seeing declining budgets for years.
Aw c'mon now 3:16, don't tell me St. Pete isn't going to keep the money flowing until at least 2008. LANL is just too important.

Interesting how some time ago LM management told its workers at Sandia that the budget for next FY might be cut by a substantial amount and that they were working on figuring out how to deal with it.

I wouldn't put a lot of faith in that "job guarantee" clause in the RFP. I have a feeling some think that "guarantee" is for as long as they want to work at LANL. I doubt it. I figure the the job "guarantee" is good for maybe a year if declining budgets come to pass. After that, have to hope there are still a lot of people who want to retire, or it will have the potential to become unpleasant.
NO job guarantee. NNSAs Feb 18, 2005 white papers (DOE web site) state that the potential contractors asked to get rid of the job guarantee, SEB agreed.. so any number of us can be RIFfed at change of contract.
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