Saturday, February 18, 2006

LANL Proposed pension fund raises ire of employees

By ANDY LENDERMAN | The New Mexican
February 18, 2006

A proposal by the University of California to create a new pension fund just for workers and retirees from Los Alamos National Laboratory continues to draw criticism.

"There's outrage over the whole situation of being taken out of the (University of California Retirement Plan) system and being placed on a clone pension plan, because there's no assurance that there will be contributions later that will make this plan serviceable," said Manuel Trujillo, president of an employee group, the University Professional and Technical Employees. "It looks like UC just wants to cut themselves away from any liability here in New Mexico."

The university would continue to manage the proposed fund, and no benefits would be cut, university officials have said. The university continues to discuss a new pension plan with the National Nuclear Security Administration, a branch of the Department of Energy, a university spokesman said Friday.

The lab portion of the university pension plan had assets of about $4.3 billion, according to a July report. The overall University of California Retirement Plan had assets of $41.8 billion.

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