Monday, March 13, 2006

TCP2 response posted at DOE/LASO website

Doug, if you think it's sufficiently newsworthy, please post the
following anonymously.

_____________________________________

The DOE/LASO transition website recently (today?) posted a response
to comments on items related to LANL inactive-vested transfers to
LANS and TCP2. The changes seem quite significant. Two changes deal
with giving these employees credit for years of service at LANL with
regards to medical insurance employer payments and employer
contribution levels to the 401(k). The third change is to allow an
option to leave accumulated sick leave with UC (which could then be
applied toward UC retirement for the next 120 days). This last item
seems to remove all penalties for "double dipping" and allows people
to keep their guaranteed job with LANS (i.e., at the same salary with
no need to apply for your old position).

The letter is at

http://www.doeal.gov/LASO/ContractTransition/default.html

Comments:
I'm confused. Here are questions/issues I'd like to see resolved:

1) As new information comes from LANS/UC/NNSA etc, such as the the new revisions to TCP2, the old and conflicting information (e.g. the "Employee Options Chart on LASO website) needs to be changed. Perhaps it's best to keep the old plainly labeled as OLD, and add underneath the new plainly labeled as NEW (with a date)?

2) Is the following the only place to get answers to questions that people have regarding their choices:
http://lansllc.com/suggestions.html
i.e. the LANS website, which might or might not answer such submitted questions in their "Transition Q&A" page?

3) Does contacting Benefits at LANL help in trying to get answers?

4) Will there be any "town meetings" in which LANS benefits reps explains current info and takes+answers questions from the audience?

5) Will there be a resolution of the proposed UC plan to clone UCRP for LANL retirees (including those presently retired and those retiring before June 1) *before* we have to make decisions by May 15?
 
OK... Now I want to see LANS come up with a single comprehensive list of everything they have committed to and everything that DOE has committed them to.

Then, LANL has to have the HR staff that understands and deals with it all!
 
My read on the TCP2 changes:

For Inactive Vested LANS employees:

1) Leave-accrual rates under LANS employment will consider UCRP service credit. For me, this means whatever 13.5 years gets. This will be different in my case than using UC credit (of which I have 18.5 years). UC and UCRP credit are potentially different for those of us with non-UCRP years of service. Still better than a poke in the eye (a bit).

2) Your UCRP service credit will be included in determining your "employer non-matching" 401k component. That is 3.5/4.5/5.5 percent depending on 0-10/10-20/20+ years of service. (In my case, this gets me an effective 1% raise).

3) Your UCRP credit will be "Frozen" at 6/1/06 for credit towards retiree benefits. For me that means I would qualify for 65% of my retiree medical. I do not believe I can earn more under LANS, but that is better than "access only."

4) You can choose to leave your sick leave balance in UCRP, which is potentially valuable if you can retire under UCRP within 120 days. I meet this criteria, so I will have to consider it.

So all things considered, they sweetened the pot for going inactive-vested. In fact, there seems to be no real incentive to retire prior to 6/1. Wait until 6/2 to be guaranteed a job, THEN retire under UCRP.

Having run the numbers, it looks to me that (risk aside) TCP1 is still a better deal.

The BEST deal would be to remain a UC employee with UCRP options continuing to accrue, but that ain't in the cards.

That's my two cents(and worth every penny!).
 
One school of thought about why TCP2 was improved has it that NNSA was concerned about a knowledge drain from LANL; while another has it that employees from Bechtel, BWXT and WG that would have had to come into TCP2 after 6/1 balked at how bad it was.
 
receding, the Offer letter has the UC credit, including UCRP credit, wording for what appears to be all TCP2 benefits except medical coverage. The medical coverage is based on frozen UCRP credit.
 
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