Friday, June 17, 2005

Figures from the latest EB meeting

A comment from the


How about these figures from the latest EB meeting?

Each AD addressed their anticipated near-term staffing losses and needs. However people did this task in such different ways it is difficult to compare the data.

ADSR identified ~ 65 people that it will need to replace or acquire
ADWP identified ~ 290 TSMs and 115 Other
ADTR identified ~ 70 FTE.
ADWEM identified ~ 55 FTE (predominately in areas needed to support OE. (Programmatic needs had not been assessed)
ADTS identified ~ 73 FTE.
ADA identified ~ 15 FTE
ADSFO did not report as they had completed their workforce review yesterday.
HR data currently shows ~290 pending retirements.

Interesting but not very meaningful because many, many people in all organizations are not saying (yet) what they will do or are waiting to see what happens in the next few months.
But we could start a tally of those who have already announced their retirements. For example, in T Division -

T-1 - 1
T-3 - 2
T-4 - 2
T-13 - 2
T-16 - 1
Looks like Susan is leading the charge again. I expect the real mass exodus situation is even worse than the self-reported one.
An interesting article about pensions, lump-sum payouts vs. monthly payments, PBGC, private company pension security, etc.

How Safe Is Your Pension?

You are not alone in feeling overwhelmed at the financial decisions each of us has face as we approach retirement. And although you say you work for a “large defense contractor,” you’re right to be concerned about the security of your pension.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is one of those federal agencies most people never hear about unless it’s bad news. Just as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures bank accounts in the event a bank becomes insolvent, the PBGC insures pension benefits when an employer cannot afford to pay them. So if you’re hearing from these folks, it probably means your company pension has gone up in smoke.

The important thing to understand is that, like the FDIC*, there is a limit to this insurance. Regardless of the benefit you earned under your company plan, if the PBGC has to step in, the maximum pension you can currently receive is $45,600 a year. And that’s only if you retire at age 65. If you retire earlier, you receive even less.

While $45,600 a year might sound pretty good to most folks, for higher paid employees, who are eligible for pensions two or three times that amount, this can be a kick in the teeth. Just ask a retired US Airways pilot how much it hurts to spend your retirement living on 65 percent less income than you thought you had coming.

This month the PBGC announced that 1,108 private companies reported they had at least a $50 million shortfall in their pension plans. In other words, in order to meet their future benefit payments, they should have a lot more money in their plans. The total amount of this “underfunding”? Nearly $354 billion.

By law, a pension plan isn’t required to be “fully” funded. It wouldn’t be a good use of a company’s money to set aside every single dollar it expects to pay someone, say, 25 years from now. But a company does have to contribute enough so that, counting the earnings the money is expected to generate, the plan will be able to meet its obligations when they come due.

However, according to PBGC spokesperson Jeffrey Speicher, “most pension plans are underfunded today.” There are a number of reasons for this. The three-year decline in the stock market and historically low interest rates have reduced the returns plans were counting on to increase their balances. The events of 9/11 and the economic slowdown we saw in 2002 cut into corporate profits, making it harder for companies to come up with the money they needed to contribute to their pension plans.

The situation has been getting steadily worse for the past five years. The following table comes from the PBGC’s own Web site:

We've only seen the tip of the iceberg in this country regarding pension
failures. The figure of pension "underfunding" I'm hearing is more like
$450 billion and growing. Pension failures and the associated decline in
living standards for the 50+ crowd will be the big story in the next few
years. And to think, pensions were over-funded and the US government was
collecting a $200 billion surplus before the Bush crowd took over. My how
things have changed since we came under total GOP control. Of course,
if you are at the top of the wealth ladder, say a corporate CEO, not to
worry. Most CEO pensions are heavily backed by private pension insurance
these days. Even if the CEO dumps the company into bankruptcy, the CEOs
are covered by a full pension with all the perks.
I suspected this was all political! WOW. How do you think Bush stole all the money out of the pension funds in just a few years. I knew he was up to something big!

P.s. Now that I'm rereading my post, this all sounds a little silly.
I apologize as I placed this in error under another post.

As many have said that they need data to draw conclusions about the present and future of LANL, the following current FY demographic data are through 5/31/05.

There have been 357 UC Regular Terminations. The breakdown by series: 165 TSM; 77 SSM; 76 TEC; and 39 AS/GS/OS. These are broken down by reason as: 168 Retirement; 148 Career Advancement; 41 all other reasons.

There have been 583 UC Regular new hires this fiscal year: 98 TSM; 167 SSM; 173 TEC; and 145 AS/GS/OS.

The highest degree educational breakdown among these 583 new-hires is: 15 PhD(2.6%); 3 JD(0.5%); 44 MA/MS(7.5%); 81 BA/BS(13.9%); 26 Associate(4.5%); and 414 None(71.0%).

The current 8584 person LANL UC Regular workforce by highest degree consists of: 1904 PhD, MD, JD, DVM(22.2%); 1619 MA/MS(18.9%); 1884 BA/BS(21.9%); 665 Associate(7.8%); 156 App/Other(1.8%); and 2356 None(27.4%).
Looks like ADWP needing 290 TSMs and 115 Other is going to be a bit tough based on the stats shown in the 8:48 post.

Even if ADWP took all the TSMs hired this FY, they would still appear to be short by about 190 TSMs. Taking everyone with a Bachelors and above they would be short by about 147 TSMs.

Maybe some of the 414 people with no degree (71%!) hired this year can learn to run some codes and become TSMs? Hell, how hard can it be?

71% of all the UC Regular new hires this FY have no degree? LANL certainly continues to impress.

I can only surmise that this hiring has been carefully planned and coordinated with DOE/NNSA regarding LANL's continually evolving role.
Running codes isn't so hard if you don't care what the answer is! Who does these days? Most high school students can run Power Point as well as most Phd's in X-4 anyway. The new employees will love using the power wall as much as the DOE folks do and for the same reason; it's like a big video game. I've been told by my Division Leader that expertise does not matter. He claims that, "a good manager" can develop a process to manage anybody to do anything. It looks like he will get his chance this year to manage high-school students without Q-clearances to fire hydrotests. I pray this little political game we are all playing does not have any impact on National security. If it does, the Country is totally screwed.
A note from ESA-WR just popped out with something like 8 retirements to beat the July 1st deadline. We are in party mode.
Wow, 7:12, by that definition of "a good manager", someone like Adolf Hitler must have been a really good manager.
No one "uses" the Powerwall. It is exists only to entertain visitors.
I know of several people in my Div. (IM) who want to retire, have tried to take their papers to HR, and have been told to wait to turn them in b/c HR is so overloaded with such requests that staff can't even think about processing new requests for months.

Where are the "real" numbers?
I had the same experience with trying to make an appointment. I have been on a waiting list for over a month with no contact from HR. E-mail inquiries to the Benefits office have received an automated "we are swamped, please be patient" type of response. Even an e-mail to UC with a simple question about COLAs received an automated response that they are under an extreme backlog and it would be approximately one week before they could answer the question. To their credit they did answer in about one week. The miniscule retirement numbers projected by HR just don't seem to jive with what we are experiencing in our interactions with the Benefits office. Also, we continue to hear from managers (Kuckuck included) that "retention" is a top priority. Why? Do they know something about departures that we don't and are simply not allowed to share the information? Just in my limited interactions, I know 15 people retiring, 3 Group Leaders that have quit, and 2 more that are getting ready to quit. Something is wrong!
10:20, why the conclusion that there is something wrong?
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