In NewsOnline today:
On Tuesday (April 1), the University of California transferred assets valued at more than $1.6 billion (valued as of Sept. 30, 2007) from the University of California Retirement Plan (UCRP) to the LLNS Defined Benefit Pension Plan. The transferred assets cover just more than $1 billion of associated liabilities. These are the pension assets and liabilities for the benefits of LLNL employees who chose TCP1.
With this transfer, the LLNS plan will be the best funded pension plan in the DOE Complex with a funded ratio of 166 percent. “We do not expect to need to make plan contributions for a number of years, and with reasonable investment returns, contributions may not be required for decades,” said Paul Rosenketter, chairman of the LLNS Benefit & Investment Committee. “The LLNS Benefits and Investment Committee has selected a number of highly regarded managers to invest these assets in a diverse set of equity and fixed income investment vehicles to cover future pension benefit payments.”
The UCRP pension assets and liabilities for retirees and for LLNL employees who chose TCP2 remain with UCRP. Those pension benefit payments will be paid directly by UCRP.
The DOE/NNSA contract required that the LLNL segment assets remaining with UCRP be sufficient to cover 100 percent of the associated liabilities for the retained benefits (as of Sept. 30, 2007). In addition, DOE/NNSA is required to reimburse UC for contributions made on behalf of the LLNL segment of UCRP when then segment liabilities exceed assets.
Because of the negative performance of the various financial markets since the start of the LLNS contract, UC and DOE/NNSA recognized that contributions for the LLNL segment of UCRP will be required next year. As a result of the anticipated contributions, DOE/NNSA determined UC should hold back additional assets of $140 million as a “Contribution Reserve Amount” to pay the anticipated UCRP contributions. This amount would be sufficient to cover payments for approximately three years. If the $140 million were not held back, DOE/NNSA would have required LLNS to make the UCRP contributions from the Laboratory’s operating funds, which would have severely impacted Lab programs and required even deeper reductions in Lab staffing.
Regardless of whether pension benefits will be paid by the LLNS plan or UCRP, Frank Russo, principal associate director of Operations and Business, reminded employees that both plans are “safe, secure and well funded.” DOE/NNSA is contractually obligated to make contributions to UCRP for any future funding shortfalls in the LLNL segment and, by federal law and contract, must continue to ensure the financial integrity of the LLNS plan.
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Wednesday, April 2, 2008
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