Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Retirement Numbers

From Anonymous:

It looks like retirements are running about 16 % ahead of last year with about a month to go before the real numbers start coming in. The significant numbers at the bottom are important because retirements on July 1 normally represent about 45 percent of the total retirements for the year.

Total Retirements FY05 to 3/21/05: 106, of which 50 were TSMs

Total Elections Pending FY05: 81, of which 46 are TSMs
(31 out of the 81 are from the three weapons directorates, mostly ADWP)

"PENDING" means the employee's retirement election letter has been sent to UC. Typically, only 2% of those "pending" later cancel their plans to retire. Those listed as pending have a retirement date within the next 3 months.


BUT, in addition to retirements, people leave by other means. In January, there were 39 non-retirement terminations, the same number as retirements. This is 14 more retirements than January 2004 and more than any January in the past five years. Here are the complete numbers, as of Feb. 28:

Total terminations by employee choice: 78 (of which 37 are TSMs)
Total by Lab choice: 9 (1 TSM)
Total Medical: 11 (2 TSM)
No Data: 2 (both TSMs)
Regular retirement: 92 (44 TSM)
Total terminations 10/1/04 to 2/28/05: 192 (86 TSMs)

(remember, the numbers at the top of the show the 14 additional regular retirements between March 1 and March 21.


Total retirements, FY 2004: 256 (152 of these are TSMs)
Total pending retirements, end FY 2004: 56 (30 TSMs)
Total retirements, FY 2003: 235

Retirements, June 1-July 1, 2004: 109 (6 plus 103 on 7/1/04)
Retirements June 1-July 1, 2003: 111 (22 plus 89 on 7/1/03)

Lots of people are waiting to see if the contract gets extended to retire. According to the newspapers, DOE asked UC for a contract extension. No word on whether it was granted and finally signed or not.
People I know are waiting until they get some info on that contract extension. Most will not retire until they know for certain when the current contract ends.
If there is no info by the end of something like June, most will retire right away to prevent loss of UC benefits.
What lots of outsiders don't understand is that there are a great many workaholics at LANL and they won't leave until the last minute. I don't know of any who are say 54 or over who will stay on and lose their benefits though.
You got that right. I am 55 this year and I am waiting but am ready to bail keeping my UC pension rather than take a risk. If UC keeps the contract and we stay in UCRP then I will stay another 5 at least. If not, its goodbye......
I was discussing the RFP pension changes with a long time LANL employee. (One of the best I ever had the pleasure of working with, BTW.)At the time, he said he was not planning to retire for years.... A few weeks later, we spoke again and he had gone from reluctance to excitement at the concept of retirement.
LANL may lose good employees in this process just because they are making them weigh alternatives. And with all this uncertainty, retirement looks better and better.
I doubt that we will stay in UCRP regardless of who is selected as the next contractor. DOE clearly wants a separate plan.

Somebody pointed out that deciding to retire was like buying a new car: once you start thinking about it and looking at some cars, the odds are that you will do the deed.
I suspect this is definitely a wait until the last possible moment exercise for most over 50.

You are right to keep the reminder up about keeping a watch on the DOE/UC contract extension.

When Secy Bodman was here he made it sound rather matter-of-fact that he would approve it. That was some time ago.
Perhaps some people are waiting as long as they can. Remember that 90 day thing is a request, not a requirement. Mostly this means your retirement check or cashout will be there as soon as possible after your last day. So save your money and don't hold your breath. Do start cleaning up things like extra property and keys and etc you are not using any more.
The above is exactly right. I can walk in one day with no notice and say I quit and still collect my retirement from UCRP.
Here's a data point to think about. I called Benefits with a question. The phone lines are all tied up and so I decided to email my question in. The response I rec'd said to expect a delay of 6 business days for a reply: "Due to a recent increase in the volume of inquiries our office has received, please allow up to 48 business hours for a response." The Benefits Office is EXTREMELY busy. Any guesses why?

Here's the email reply:

From: "Benefits"

Thank you for contacting the Benefits office.  This e-mail is to confirm that we have received your inquiry and are working diligently to respond accordingly.  Due to a recent increase in the volume of inquiries our office has received, please allow up to 48 business hours for a response.
To avoid duplication of effort, please notify the benefits office in the event your email inquiry has been addressed. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.

Here are some useful links that might assist you....
Benefits/HR are also going to have a lot of retirements.. that is going to mean even less people who can cover the phones, paperwork etc.

Not to spook anyone.. but waiting to the last minute may mean also spending a long time waiting for the paperwork to be completed.. and maybe getting lost or worse because there are to few people left to access it.

The last thing you want to do for the first couple of years of retirement is sue UC or trying to sue DOE because your paperwork was lost and you became an employee for Halliburton during the changeover.
To give a realistic "baseline" the numbers in the original post should include those from the previous year. Then, as the Brooklyn fans used to say, "Just wait til next year!".

As for myself, I am retiring ASAP. Maximizing my UCRP benefits has nothing to do with it. I will no longer buy into an institution that unfairly punishes longtime, loyal employees, and trashes its best scientists. I will not continue to risk my health and well-being by fighting useless battles against mindless prescriptive regulatory rules put in place by clueless managers and empire-building functionaries. Enough is enough. Bye-bye.
I am going too. I have high morals and ethics and can not longer put up with sleazy managers. I have been punished for speaking out by having to sign trumped-up charges that went into my personnel files. I too recognize the looming delays due to HR overload in processing the retirements, so I am starting early. I'm turning in keys, dumping assigned property and shredding files. My office will be the cleanest it has ever been. After 21+ years I've had enough of Nano-Butthead...PinHead. I have a strongly pro-Navy family with a KIA. Nanos is an utter gross embarrassment to the United States. He is despicable! I do not trust the outcome of the new contract to be good for me. I am not a gambler. Bye-Bye!
I don't know if the 1pt font text too small for others to read (below the baseline comment at the end), but here it is in 10pt. font:

Total retirements, FY 2004: 256 (152 of these are TSMs)
Total pending retirements, end FY 2004: 56 (30 TSMs)
Total retirements, FY 2003: 235

Retirements, June 1-July 1, 2004: 109 (6 plus 103 on 7/1/04)
Retirements June 1-July 1, 2003: 111 (22 plus 89 on 7/1/03)
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