Tuesday, December 06, 2005

After Verizon, Are Pension Freezes on the Way?

From Anonymous:

These might be of interest to people who are wondering about pensions
and where they are going in the future. Doug or St Brad (sorry its just
too funny of an idea).

After Verizon, Are Pension Freezes on the Way?
Other Telecommunications Companies Could Follow Verizon's Lead to Cut


Basically, companies are moving away from pensions faster than you can
say mississippi, and it will be something that will probably be looked
at by either of the LLC's in the coming years.

You can find the same story over at the NY Times with some
additional details:

Verizon to Halt Pension Outlay for Managers -- NY Times, Dec 6, 2005


Verizon nixed their pension for managers and cut their retiree
medical benefits, following a trend laid down by many other tech
companies like IBM, HP, and Motorola. The future of the LANL LCC
pension (and esp. retiree medical benefits) doesn't look too
bright given this growing trend in America. Corporate America
has no fear of cutting worker benefits these days, now that
the party in power has declared "open season" on the middle class.

Even more interesting is what's about to happen to the taxes
of the middle & upper-middle-class. The Alternative Minimum Tax
is about to snare a huge section of this populace, and Congress
has decided to do nothing about it. Of course, if you make
over $500 K, you are exempt from the clutches of the dreaded AMT.
Go figure?

Lawmakers May Run Out of Time for Tax Fix -- AP, Dec 6, 2005


...without any congressional action, the alternative minimum tax
will hit 19 million taxpayers next year, taxes that would have
to be paid in early 2007 when returns come due.

That would include almost three out of four married, two-child
couples whose incomes fall roughly between $75,000 and $100,000,
said Leonard Burman, co-director of the Urban-Brookings
Tax Policy Center.


Reduced pensions, no health care coverage, and bigger taxes for the
aging boomers of the middle class. Bigger pensions, fabulous health
care in boutique hospitals, and lower taxes for all the "1-percenters"
at the top. No wonder polls are showing a drastic drop in good
feelings towards both Congress and our President. This trend sucks!
good2go, it makes you wonder what national security is all about sometimes, no?
Why is it democrats blame everything on the president...even Verizon cutting it's pension?

I am a Verizon employee and just as upset as the next person about the cuts, but ultimately, it is my choice to stay or go.
Jenn, based on your profile, it's likely that you're a fundamentalist
Christian. I can understand how it must feel when "God's Candidate"
is disliked by most of the public these days. Actually, I'm a very
moderate Republican, and not a Democrat. And I want my party taken
back from the Religious Right who seem to have firm control of it.
Given free reign, I suspect the Religious Right would turn this country
into a semi-theocratic nation that better suits their narrow world view.
In that respect, the Religious Right and the muslim fanatics have a lot
in common.

Hope you enjoy what's left of your Verizon retirement. I suspect the
extreme right of the GOP aren't yet finished with their radical changes.
Social Security and Medicare are still waiting to be destroyed. Perhaps
when they're done, church charity will still be left to help take care of
the 99% of the country who haven't profited from the rule of the Right.
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