Thursday, May 11, 2006

Already disappointed with the lack of choices

Submitted by Anonymous:

Hi Doug,
Please post if you wish.
From today's newsbulletin (and I was already disappointed with the lack of choices before Mary pointed out this little fact):

401(K) options?

As Eileen Patterson (Our Choices, 5/3/06) so non-succinctly points out, just about every "clarification" by Los Alamos National Security, LLC raises more issues than it addresses. For example, among the limited mutual funds listed in the 401(K) Investment Option Lineup (, at least five of the funds are listed as "closed to new investors" on the Fidelity Web site. Neither the LANS hotline nor the Fidelity representatives can tell me if LANS has made special arrangements to have those funds open to LANS employees, or if they are just non-useful filler. I also note that these five 'closed' funds are the highest rated (Morningstar) of the limited options. So what options are really options?

--Mary Barr

It figures that LANS LLC would come up with some half ass 401k plan. Hopefully they get there collective behinds together and implement something better. What is the purpose of this? I can do better if I went out on my own and opened a 401k. Bottom line is the only purpose this serves is to screw employees.
It's bizarre that Mary can't get an answer to her
question from the official sources. But I expect it
will turn out that we *can* invest in those 'closed'
funds, because I just 2 days ago was able to invest in ContraFund for the first time. Obviously that's in our old plan which is much better, but to me it bodes well (something in writing would bode much better).
*** Deal, or No Deal? -- Bet Your Pension!!! ***

Ever watch the popular game show hosted by Howie Mandel called
"Deal, or No Deal"? If you have, then you'll be able to easily
relate to what I'm about to say.

While watching this show, it suddenly occurred to me that the
pension choices we are being forced to make are like a perverted
version of this popular game show. It goes like this:


Standing by the podium is a shiny, un-opened briefcase that may
(or may not) contain pension assets worth up to $1 million!!!

This shiny, un-opened briefcase that sits beside us represents
our future assets in the defined benefits of TCP1. It could
make us very rich. Unfortunately, we won't know exactly how
much is in this briefcase until we get a chance to open it up
at the end of the show. Drats!

Other briefcases are selected and opened by the beautiful models
on stage to reveal cash amounts that are taken "off-the-table".
Once these amounts are exposed to us, we know they are the cash
amounts that we won't be finding in our mystery briefcase.

This action represents the latest information on benefit reductions.
You know, those little bomb-shells we keep seeing like last week's
DOE "Directive N 351.1" and the latest LANS or UC memos.

In this show, unseen "bankers" up in a booth make repeated phone
calls to the contestants (us) with offers to buy up our un-opened
briefcase. They offer us various amounts of cash. The "bankers"
represent DOE and the cash amounts they offer for our shiny,
un-opened briefcase represent the defined contributions of TCP2.

Care to trade your un-opened (but possible rich) TCP1 briefcase
for a specific cash buy-out of TCP2? That's the "Deal, or No Deal"
part that you'll have to decide. Choose wisely.


Now, isn't it neat to know you don't have to go out to Hollywood
to be on a TV game show? You're all playing the game right now.
Have fun, everybody!

Wait a minute.... I just got a phone call from the NBC big-wigs.

It appears that the show has just been *CANCELED*. That's when
LANS LLC suddenly disappears as the manager of LANL. This completes
our analogy. You can now change channels.

Interesting analogy, good2go. I had the same thoughts about all this pension mess several weeks ago.
Fidelity Investments makes no money on us if the funds are closed. They need employee assets for growth. Logically, why would they offer an employee sponsored contribution plan if they could not accept the contributions? Of course once we are signed up and participants of the employer sponsored plans contributions to these funds will be allowed. Informed suspicion is healthy, ignorant paranoia a little less so...
Post a Comment

<< Home

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