Friday, March 10, 2006

Letters from Dynes

  1. Letter to Linton Brooks, dated 3/9/2006
  2. Letter to LANL dated 3/9/2006 re: letter from Judy Boyette, Associate VP, UC HR, dated 3/8/2006

Comments:
Reading the last paragraph of Dynes letter to Brooks:

"We are in the process of preparing descriptions of what UC considers to be possible alternatives. We expect that this information will be formally submitted to NNSA within the next 30 days".

Clearly, it is only "expected" that "descriptions of what UC considers to be possible alternatives" will be submitted to NNSA within 30 days (of date of letter, i.e. March 9 2006). That is, nothing resolved. Therefore the employess of LANL do not have the promised 60 days, with full information, to make decisions regarding their possible future at LANL, or retirement.

This is totally unacceptable. Senators and congressman are interested in this issue, and did make their views known earlier. It is now time to write them again and make clear that DOE/UC/NNSA/LANS is not giving LANL employees the promised 60 day period, with full information, in which to make decisions affecting not just the employees personal lives, but also implicitly affecting national security. A mass exodus, and/or total lack of trust and lack of morale among those who stay, would have consequences best avoided by extending the transition/decision deadline to the end of the fiscal year, allowing time to resolve critical issues.
 
From the content of the Dynes-to-Brooks memo I infer that the

UCRP-LANL proposal is UC's way of driving a negotiating stake into

the ground. Apparently, UC feels that, as a sub-group of UCRP, LANL

employees (past and present) represent an above-average actuarial

liability. This is for reasons already stated in a previous

posting, eg longer average lifespans, earlier average retirement

ages (59 vs. 62 for campus employees), et. al.

If so, then it appears that UC is going to approach DOE/NNSA with

a proposal to fund, or help fund, this presumed, perhaps even

demonstrable, actuarial shortfall. I wonder if retirees (and

soon-to-be retirees) are in the middle of an unprecedented conundrum

of pension economics. That is, there exist two distinct subsets of

a pension fund population each of which were funded by different

sources (UC and DOE) at (roughly?) the same level. Years later, and

at a most inconvenient and embarrassing time, it is "discovered"

that one subset actually costs more to support in retirement than

the other. How do the funding sources resolve this equitably? I am

interested in other folks' opinions on this subject. Any pension

experts or pension-history buffs out there?
 
Very astute observation by Mr. Blayock. Given the the fact that pension contributions will restart, you can see why U.C. wants a cohort population that they can have DOE directly pay into. Since DOE wanted "substantial equivalence," U.C. will use that to ensure DOE ponies up funds to maintain parity.

Arcs_n_Sparks
 
"A mass exodus, and/or total lack of trust and lack of morale among those who stay, would have consequences best avoided by extending the transition/decision deadline to the end of the fiscal year, allowing time to resolve critical issues."

I doubt that the "deadline to the end of the fiscal year" will happen without Congressional intervention. June 1st from what I hear is etched in stone by law according to Brooks.

As you have said these two documents don't mean a thing. Once again it seems as if those of us who wish to retire before June 1st are not going to be allowed to retire on the primary UCRP, yet. Assuming that DOE will not back the retirement fund and the UC Regents insist on a spin-off plan of which they say they will manage, then why consider a spin off retirement program at all? To me the game that the UC Regents is playing with DOE still smells as if it's a ploy to assure that their obligations are forfeited and that all liabilities are going to fall on DOE's back.

A simple solution to all of this would be for the UC Regents to agree that "all retirees and all of those who retire before the new contract takes affect will be allowed to retire on the primary UCRP", however all of those who are not eligible to retire will be required to go with the new and improved retirement program that LANS has defined in their most recent Mercer presentation dated March 3rd.
 
Good point b-ohica, I agree.
 
b-ohica, what of those that choose "Inactive Vested" status?
 
This post has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Arcs_n_Sparks writes:

"Given the the fact that pension contributions will restart, you can
see why U.C. wants a cohort population that they can have DOE
directly pay into. Since DOE wanted "substantial equivalence," U.C.
will use that to ensure DOE ponies up funds to maintain parity."

I hope he's right. Best case is that UC and DOE come to some
agreement to shore up any lab-based actuarial shortfall in UCRP that
is mutually satisfactory to UC, DOE, and LANL (and, very likely,
LLNL) retirees. Such an agreement would then seem to obviate the
need for any UCRP-LANL/LLNL-like entity.

Worst case is that UC and DOE cannot come to agreement and UC
proceeds with it plan to segregate lab retirees with DOE's (perhaps
grudging) approval. At that point I think things would begin to get
real messy. Search the blog for the keyword "lawsuit" for more
details. I certainly hope it doesn't come to that.

Anyone care to speculate on an expected-case scenario?
 
I am going to bet that DOE is going to tell the UC Regents that the retirees and all of those who wish to retire "is their problem" and will therefore decline on giving any financial support to take care of the issue. DOE will make it very clear to the UC Regents that they are to manage the funds, "alone" and without any external support, and that the UC is in fact obligated to do so not matter who they shove their employees off onto. If this happens I am going to make another wager. I would expect that the UC regents is going to request that all lab employees contribute 6% of their salary, monthly to the UCRP fund in order to stabilize the pot as the amount of people who retire on the system continues to climb. Oh yes, I can now see some people eyebrows rising. They are probably saying, 6%? How in the heck can I get a 3% pay raise while the UC is going to take 6% for contributions to the retirement funds. That sounds like a pay cut to me. Now there is a scenario for you to think about. Maybe it's not so bad becoming a LANS employee after all.

Just a thought... after reading Foley's document recently released.
 
That's why, eligible and able to, take lump sum. Take what you can get. Give it to a financial planner and hope for the best. You then have a say in what happens to what you've earned over the past 20+ years. The best, on your own, is better than betting on what UC will come up with.
 
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?