Friday, January 20, 2006

LANL pension split advances

ROGER SNODGRASS,, Monitor Assistant Editor

A committee of the University of California Board of Regents slowed but did not reject a complicated plan to calculate and isolate its diverging pension liabilities for employees at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

UC administrators were instructed to continue developing a concept that would include separating current LANL retirees from the university pension program known as the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP), as a first step toward subdividing UC's existing obligations to retirees and future obligations under the laboratory's new management.

Rather than leave the final decision in the hands of UC President Robert Dynes, as requested in the proposal, university officials were asked Wednesday to come back to the full board for final approval.

The regents meeting continues today on the campus of the UC San Diego.

Full Story

This was posted on the LANL/LANS Transition website as an answer to a question. Within a week of the posting it looks like this option will be taken away. I think if the pension swindle happens there will be quite a number of lawsuits.

1/12/06 - #097
Q: What does it mean to choose "inactive status in UCRP"?
A: Inactive vested status is one UCRP choice for employees with five or more years of UCRP service credit. Employees choosing inactive vested status will:

* Be automatically hired by the successor contractor, if they desire to continue working at LANL, provided they are in good standing, employed in career or term appointments, subject to the availability of funds
* retain their service credit and any accumulations in UCRP
* be covered by Pension Plan 2
* transfer their vacation and sick leave to the successor contractorv
* be able to retire from UCRP any time after age 50

When inactive vested UCRP members choose to retire from UCRP at some point in the future, their retirement income will be based on:

* their age at the time of retirement
* their HAPC (highest average plan compensation) as of May 31, 2006 plus any cost of living adjustments (of up to 2 percent per year) that may have occurred between May 31, 2006 and the time of retirement
* their service credit as of May 31, 2006
It's beginning to look to me as if doing a lump sum without medical is the way to go. By doing so you can in fact take your lump sum plus all the monies that are in your 403b, and buy a "life time fixed annuity". Even if you are not 55 or 59 1/2 there are no penalties to be paid by going this route. How do I know this, well it's because I just got off the phone with Fidelity which are the ones who are handling my 403b. Note the URL and phone number below. This is exactly what the UC does with your lump sum anyway. Why not take control of your own life. My understanding is that if both of you die within the first 20 years all additional funds can be willed to whom ever you want; and they have a choice of taking the remaining funds in lump sum or monthly payment until the pots exhausted.

Interested in buying an annuity? .......800-544-4702

Please take the time to think this over. Yes you will have to get medical coverage but you can work for Walmart and get that. You'll have to have something to do anyway.

So I ask you this question. Why would you leave your money in a fund that is totally separated from the primary UCRP which was put into the hands of a corporation that's not slated to survive or even has a track record that indicates so. Now you talk about risky.
Here are some decent article on retirement investing that some of
you ol' geezers might find interesting. They are all from Forbes
magazine. You might not be able to access these on-line if you are
not a subscriber. If so, you can find them down at the local library.

Living Long Is the Best Revenge - Forbes - Dec 12, 2005

Very good article about using a cash-out wisely in terms of doing
an annuity purchase. Some examples of what to expect in terms of
yearly cash, and ways in which annuities can even be inflation
protected! You don't need no stink'n COLAs -- you can have your
yearly funds protected by contractual law from inflation! Very cool.

Healthy Planning - Forbes - Dec 12, 2005

Relying on the good intentions of your former company to continue
payments of your medical benefits in retirement is very risky.
Almost every company in America is now dropping their retirees off
their health care plans. This article discusses some smart moves
you can make to be absolutely sure you have health coverage (again,
you can lock this down in contractual law, so you never have to
worry that it will ever be taken away).

In at the Top - Forbes - July 25, 2005

Public pensions are rushing into Real Estate the way they rushed into
tech in the late 1990's. It's part of a current trend to make up for
big pension liabilities by subjecting the pensions to bigger and bigger
risks. Bad things are probably about to happen with some pensions.

Fools Rush In - Forbes - Jan 9, 2006

Good article about how pension are now putting significant amounts of
their investments into very risky hedge funds to make up for short falls
in pension funds. As with Real Estate (above article), it looks like
a lot of dumb pension money will soon disappear down a rat hole.


I'm not advising people to bail out of the pension. However, I am
advising you to use "due diligence". You have options. Take the time
to look at them. These options may be especially valuable if you
have no trust in either UC or DOE regarding the ways in which they
will handle your future benefits (both pensions and health care wise).
With a little bit of work, it is possible to contractually lock-down
benefits in ways that no bureaucrat from either UC or DOE could ever
promise to you.

BTW, I've heard rumors that it was UC's Gerald Parsky (the fellow
who now heads up the LANS LLC Board Leadership) that got the UCRP
into the Enron stock fiasco. UCRP took quite a hit on that one.
Can anyone confirm whether this is true or not? I'd like to
know whether the chicken coop is now being guarded by a fox.
Parsky is also the fellow who headed up the "Bush for President"
campaign in the state of CA for 2004.

You can find out some interesting stuff on our new boss, Parsky,
by going over to Google and doing a search on "Gerald Parsky".

For example, here a juicy tidbit you might want to read about
on our new boss, Mr. Parsky:

This is just one of many post about Mr. Parsky, and they don't
paint a very pretty picture of the guy who now heads up the powerful
position as LANS LLC Governor.
Pop goes the Housing Bubble? A Florida subdivision -- the Boca Country Club -- characterizes the area, the problem, and the answer. Read more ....
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