Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Companies with severely underfunded pension plans

From Anonymous:

Just Saw an interesting thing on TV tonight. Quickly flashed across the screen were companies with severely underfunded pension plans and most likely to default. Yes, Lockheed Martin, did flash across the screen. So my question to Robinson is, if you claim to do such great science, how is it your company can't manage money? I'm a LANL employee, and I look to a company that is forward looking, with a 9/80 schedule and flex time and a work at home policy (that is definitely not UC under Foley). But quite frankly, if you can't provide me some semblance of the retirement package I thought I was going to get , I can do without Lockheed Martin and you. The reason we are "cashing in" on our retirements is that a future with Foley at the helm sucks too. There is a long time between the award, and the time in which we have to choose to retire. Much time to worry. I ask you (Robinson) and UC to respond to this blog, and give us some direction and hope. Right now, both options suck, so why not retire? At least, the UC retirement is "over funded". Please make an arguement. Just a note, most people can do science with their eyes closed, its called dreaming. Give us that chance again. If we have to worry about our families and their financial outcome, it's difficult to dream.

I saw that as well. Just about nails it for me. I will be retiring under UCRP. Does not matter who gets the contract since DOE is bent on having a stand alone pension plan even if UC wins the contract. Just a matter of when, but for sure before the jig is up.
Oh, Great!! I can't retire- so I just have to ride this out. I hope they have good soup lines 20 years from now.
See a related article at:

"...Boeing ranked No. 1 with the largest shortfall -- $6.7 billion -- and United Airlines ranked second, with $6.2 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. Other plans at the top of the journal's underfunded list were: Delta Air Lines, $5.7 billion; Delphi Automotive Systems Corp, $3.9 billion; Northwest Airlines, $3.7 billion; United Technologies, $3.7 billion; Raytheon, $3.5 billion; and Lockheed Martin, $3.5 billion..."
"Nevertheless, the prospects of shifting United's pension obligations to the government have been especially painful for former United pilots Schuck and Close, who were well-paid by United. That's because the PBGC has a ceiling that limits its pension checks.

The maximum benefit PBGC will pay for any plans it takes over this year is $45,614 per person per year. The maximum benefit will be even less if a worker retired before age 65."
Regardless of whether UC/BXWT or UT/LM gets the contract, we had best hope for a defined contribution pension plan. It will cost us as in the term "contribution," but it cannot be underfunded.
Well, if you figure that each of the members at LANL have about $1.5 million reserved for them in the pension plan when they retire and there are about 8000 employees, that is $12 billion available for Lockheed. If Lockheed reduces the LANL benefits by 75% and diverts the extra, that is enough to cover their underfunded plan. Pretty good deal for Lockheed!
Actually- you should all read the posts under the 'anti-union' thread. Many of us boomers figured that social security would not be there for our generation, but now our entire LANL pension setup is threatened.

I am going to join that employee association people are discussing. We need some teeth in this new contract that 'locks up' transferred employee pension funds. I am not going to sit back and trust that it all works out. 12000 of us can make a difference.
Anonymous : 6/2/2005 07:25:16 AM
Good luck and if you find out the number of LANL members let us know. You really would be better off saving you union contributions for later use.
6/2/2005 03:45:15 AM
Where in the world did you get $1.5 million per head? You must be on a different planet!
Forget the union, I want a different limited-scope employee association to hire a contract lawyer. This lawyer looks at the new DOE contract for holes in the pension plan.

It doesn't do us much good to have UCRP age 'factors' guaranteed while the funds to cover them are iffy. You may trust DOEs oversight, but I don't.
I don't know where that poster got the $1.5 million number. But UCRP projects $1 million as my lump sum payout at age 60. And another $.5 million, from my 403(b). So, at least for me (30 years service at age 60), that number doesn't seem so far fetched. Others will probably have more or less years of service and more or less in their 403(b) accounts.

It looks like the 403(b) accounts are already being moved to Fidelity Investments, as of July 1st.
I have felt the slap of retirement neglect too many times. Lockheed Electronic retirement for my husband, who passed away, payment was denied me his surviving spouse of 40 yrs. My retirement that is coming up fron Hughes Electronics, I am told is ca-put,nil zilch,zero etc.. and the government wants to do what with the ss system.. then no one will ever get a dime of hard earned money they thought they were putting asside for old age, so you there, heading for the soup line and the poor house.. see ya there.. someone is getting fat off our bucks, the dollars don't vaporize into thin air.. just pay us back what we paid in, forget the interest on the money.. and another one bites the dust,
Just Totally Fed UP with "big companies"!!!!
"with a 9/80 schedule and flex time and a work at home policy" - isn't it nice to expect everything -- how about just stay at home and get a paycheck. I think everyone is LAZY in this town.
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