Monday, February 20, 2006

As a Livermore retiree,

Doug
I am an LLNL retiree. I have been following your blog with interest
I have sent a letter to UC, which I have copied below
You are welcome to post if you wish, and you may or may not
use my name as you wish

--
Stan Trost


February 15, 2006.

Robert C. Dynes, President University of California
1111 Franklin St.
Oakland, Ca. 94607-5200
cc: Gerald L. Parsky, Chairman Regents of UC

Dear Dr. Dynes:

Varied press reports are concern current and retired employees of the
National Laboratories. As a Livermore retiree, I am concerned that
Livermore and Los Alamos retirees contract with the University may be
changed.

My colleagues and I worked at the laboratories for many reasons
including the unique challenges of the work; the opportunity to
provide vital public service; a total compensation system that
included fair pay and benefits and the expectation of retirement from
the University under its retirement system.

Our accomplishments were (and continue to be) many including our
contributions to the end of the cold war, our efforts to design build
a robust nuclear stockpile, a key role in sequencing the human genome,
our development of analytical instruments to fight bio-terrorism, our
development of high power lasers, and our patents of a wide variety of
technologies, many that are licensed to industry. Your employees made
tremendous sacrifices. They spent countless hours in the desert,
weeks away from family and friends – on travel, in the laboratory, on
computers, in the library.

We are distressed over conflicting reports that a new Los Alamos
retirement and benefits system is being set up, and that retirees will
be transferred to this new system. We would like to know exactly what
the new contract says regarding our benefits, and the options you have
under the contract.

When we retired, we assumed (as outlined in the employees manual) we
were in the University retirement system – the same system enjoyed by
university faculty and staff. We made decisions regarding lump sum
distributions based on the known university system – many of us might
have made different decisions had we known that our contract with the
university would change. As an honorable and ethical institution, we
expect the university to live up to its commitments- in fact the
integrity of the entire system is at stake. We can think of no
logical reason to include retirees in any new system. UC and employee
contributions were based on aggregate actuarial assumptions – we don't
understand how it is possible to now separate an entire population.

In the University tradition, we expect you to publish the facts, seek
employee and retiree input, and weigh it carefully before coming to
any decision.

Respectfully submitted,


Comments:
Thank you, Stan! Well said! Now, as to the likelihood that you'll get a response from Pres. Dynes, well...best of luck. You may be the first.
 
Stan the Man,

Well said. Your understudy......

Arcs_n_Sparks
 
One reason this may not get a response is that it doesn't accurately state what UC said they are doing with the change to UCRP-LANL (if approved). They've proposed no transfer of funds into a new system as I understand it. The proposal is to mark the funds as distinct but to manage the proposed UCRP-LANL portion the same as the entire UCRP system. As a retiree also, I don't think this is good for the retirees because it will result in no active employees in the system once the LANS portion has been removed. Thus the separation will result in a significant disparity over time between the main UCRP and the UCRP-LANL system. This is where I see the problem.
 
The reasons that the UCRP-LANL proposition must be demolished by all legal means at our disposal are: its ex post facto illegality; the technical objection raised by David; and the moral issues raised by Stan. I don't believe Stan's letter will be answered either. Appeals to reason will fall on deaf ears (to coin an expression) in our litigious society; political pressure will be met with contempt; and lobbying is slow and expensive. Litigation might succeed. This is a recording.
 
Could we all be in a world of hurt. Pay close attention to the chart:
http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/retirement/2005-11-14-pensions-usat_x.htm
 
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