Saturday, May 28, 2005

About LANL pensions

Publication:Santa Fe New Mexican; Date:May 28, 2005; Section:Opinion; Page Number:8

About LANL pensions

Now: Los Alamos National Laboratory employees are guaranteed a pension without making any financial contributions. The retirement plan is based on an employee’s age and years of service.

The University of California Retirement Plan, as it is called, covers more than 170,000 employees — 8,000 from Los Alamos and the rest from other university campuses.

Employees also can contribute a percentage of their paycheck, on a pretax basis, to a separate plan similar to 401K plans. UC does not match their contributions.

Future: The U.S. Department of Energy is requiring bidders to present two compensation packages. Employees will have two months to decide which option they want during the transition between contractors.

For employees who transfer from UC to a new contractor within six months after June 1, 2006, without a break in employment, the compensation package must be “substantially equivalent” to what they’ve had. Employees keep their base salaries and carry over the length-of-service credit and vacation and sick-leave balances.

Substantially equivalent benefits are not required for employees hired after June 1, 2006; employees who retire before June 1 and reapply for a job under the new contractor; and employees who remain vested, inactive members of the University of California Retirement Plan.

If indeed the employee numbers are true, the Los Alamos share is expected to be the simple ratio of 8k/170k times the present UCRS balance of ~$42billion...therefore an expected 5% share should be transferred to the new LLC...~$2billion.

Keep your eyes peeled!
Unfortunately- what is legally required for transfer a lot less than our percentage share. And our new limited liability corporation can't pay out more than it has- so we better hope that 'our' pension money is transferred.

We may be in for a big shock...
Previous comment (5/30/2005, 3:19 PM) is correct. The LLC is not going to pay out more than it has. I think that this means two things:

Those who can should retire under UCRS.

New employees should push for a defined contribution (e.g., 401K) plan.
What is the latest date for which UCRS is still available?
The final dates are not publicized. If you are worried, put in paperwork- you can always withdraw it later.

There is a glaring problem with the RFP.
Now- UC actually has the funds in hand to cover obligations to UCRP retirees.

Future: DOE is requiring the new limited liability corporation to 'match' UCRP factors. However, DOE does not address the 'new' pension funding at all.

So when the limited liability corp. messes up, who is going to cover its obligations???

How do you spell L-A-W-Y-E-R.
By 5/28 9:19 reasoning, UCRS might actually benefit by providing some incentive for eligible persons to retire to keep the money for them in UCRS. Of course, if there is no contract extension beyond September 30, the 8K number will be considerably smaller after that date anyway.
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