Wednesday, March 08, 2006

UCOP speaks to rehired retirees

As UPTE President I have been trying to acquire as much information on questions that are relevant to all LANL employees.

Please see the following response to my questions as provided by Mr. Semple from UCOP.

The response smells of Discrimination towards older employees and what I would call "Blackmail". Specifically see second paragraph to answer number one.

-Manny Trujillo, President of UPTE

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To: mannyt@lanl.gov
From: Robert Semple

Your questions regarding the process by which LANL employees elect inactive membership in UCRP and the process when they decide to retire have been forwarded to me for response. Please see my responses below:



Question:

What action will HR require of individuals looking at Inactive Vested status?

Answer:

LANL employees who are eligible for and wish to elect inactive participation in UCRP should indicate as such on the UC Decision Form that will be included in the LANS Offer Letter packet, which will be distributed in mid-March 2006. The UC Decision Form should be returned to LANS no later than May 15, 2006; LANL employees who are vested in UCRP and do not submit their completed UC Decision Form to LANS by May 15, 2006 will automatically be considered inactive members of UCRP and their sick leave will be transferred to LANS (assuming they accept a job with LANS).

In accordance with UC provisions, LANL employees who are considered to be rehired retirees, meaning that they previously retired and received monthly income from UCRP but elected to temporarily suspend their UCRP benefits upon reemployment with LANL, must return to retiree status immediately upon subsequent separation from UC employment. It will not be possible for rehired retirees to request a Lump Sum Cashout or to elect inactive membership and defer payment of their monthly UCRP benefits. Since the transition to LANS will result in a separation from UC employment, rehired retirees should contact the LANL Benefits Office at 505-667-1806 as soon as possible to begin the process of re-retiring. They will need to make decisions concerning tax withholding, discuss applicable payment options for their monthly income and distribution options for their Capital Accumulation Payment (CAP) balance, if any. UC HR/Benefits will soon be sending explanatory letters to individuals at LANL that have been identified as rehired retirees.

Question:

Who will need to be contacted at such time Vested Inactive employees elect to retire, will it be UC or LANS?

Answer:

Since inactive vested employees are eligible to retire under UCRP, they should contact the Customer Service Unit at UCOP (800-888-8267) to inquire about the process when they are ready to retire. However, if inactive vested LANL employees retire within 120 days of separating from UC employment (i.e., by September 28, 2006) and are eligible for retiree health, they should also contact LANS, since it will administer the retiree medical plans for UCRP following the LANL transition. The employees should also contact LANS to determine if they are eligible for separate retirement benefits under a LANS retirement plan.

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[This does NOT apply, as I read it, to people who are now REGULAR employees of UC (who have NOT YET EVER IN THEIR LIFE retired from UC/LANL), and who wish now to go on inactive status with UCRP, give up their accumulated sick leave time, and then get automatically rehired by LANS in June. After June, they can retire from UCRP, and begin double-dipping, with no penalty. Please correct me, if I got this back-to-front, or even sideways. -Editor.]

Comments:
If you now work for UC, go "inactive" with UCRP, as of June 1, you CAN retire from UCRP on June 2, (if you have the right age factors, etc.) and start double dipping. This has been made clear on the LANL transition site. However, I am not aware that LANL (LANS) will provide medical benefits to such people. To the contrary, as far as I know, one loses all medical benefits associated with UC retirement.
 
llc001 appears to be correct:

On the transition site FAQs 3/6/06:
NEW!

2/27/06 - #127
Q: If I choose inactive status with UCRP, when I do elect to retire, if I select the basic retirement income option, will I also be eligible to receive UC medical benefits?
A: No, in order to be eligible for medical benefits as a UCRP retiree you must be continuously enrolled in a UC medical plan up to the time you retire. You may be eligible for retiree medical and dental benefits through LANS. See LANS website, http://lansllc.com for more information.
 
I attended one of the retirement meetings today and this question was asked. The answer was that they don't know how it will be handled for inactive transferring employees. They said the UC rules do apply if you separate from UC employment, don't continue working with LANS and retire within 120 days with no interruption of the medical coverage. The question of how to continue the medical coverage came up, and again they were not sure because the UC medical ends on 6/1/06 and LANS picks it up. I called UC on this question and they said they don't know yet, but "it will all be explained in the information that comes with the offer letter". It should not matter to DOE/NNSA because they pay whether you are an employee of LANS or a retiree of UC.
 
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