BLOG purpose

This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Comments not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

More FAQs for LLNS Defined Benefit Plan

Anonymously contributed:

More FAQs for LLNS Defined Benefit Plan

A second round of answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) has been posted on the LLNL TCP1 Benefits Web page.

Frequently Asked Questions as of April 2, 2012

1. What is the ratio of employer vs. employee contributions?

A. For FY12, the $20 million employer contribution equates to 17 percent as compared to the 5 percent employee contribution. For FY13, the employer contribution is projected to be $88 million, or 24 percent.

2. Why are contributions starting out at 5 percent? Why not a lower amount?

A. Had contributions been approved two years ago, they would have begun at a lower rate and would have increased over time. Since DOE only recently approved starting contributions, it was necessary to begin at 5 percent because the obligations of the plan are higher than they were two years ago.

3. Are employee contributions capped at 5 percent or will they increase?

A. The amount of future contributions will depend on many factors including future asset performance. The contribution schedule currently authorized by DOE includes approval to increase employee contributions to 7 percent of pay in 2013. LLNS will be requesting DOE approval to increase employer contributions to $88 million, or 24 percent of pay.

4. When will employee contributions end?

A. Contributions must continue until the plan has sufficient assets to pay all future pension obligations. We expect contributions to continue for the foreseeable future.

5. What happens when interest rates increase and the Defined Benefit Plan becomes well overfunded?

A. The amount of future contributions will depend on many factors including future asset performance. As interest rates increase and assets grow through earnings and contributions, the plan will become better funded. Once the plan has enough assets to pay all future pension obligations, both employee and LLNS contributions will cease.

6. What happens to the plan as the number of members continues to decline? Will the fact that there are fewer members mean they have to increase their contributions?

A. As the number of active members in the plan decreases due to retirement, the rate of increase in future plan obligations will decline, since those who have retired are no longer accruing future benefits. By starting employer and employee contributions to the TCP1 pension plan now, the Laboratory will mitigate future shortfalls. The steps under current implementation are designed to ensure that the pension plan will be able to fully meet all of its future obligations.

7. How is my pension benefit calculated at time of retirement?

A.. When your 5 percent contribution is withheld from your paycheck, it will be reported to the pension plan administrator, Aon Hewitt. They will keep track of your contributions, both taxable and non-taxable, separately from all other employee contributions in your "account." At the time you retire, when your monthly benefit is calculated, a portion of it will be attributed to your contributions. The IRS dictates how the allocation is determined; should you pass away before exhausting all of your contributions, any remaining contributions are paid out based on the election you chose when you retired.

Depending on this election, remaining contributions are either credited to your spouse's or contingent annuitant's monthly benefit payment, or to your beneficiaries if you chose an annuity only for yourself. If your contingent annuitant dies prior to exhausting your employee contributions, any remaining balance will be paid to your beneficiaries. If you instead only chose an annuity for yourself, the remaining employee contributions you made will be paid out to your beneficiaries upon your death. Your contributions are used to fund your retirement benefit. The formula to calculate your pension benefit remains as Age Factor x Service Credit x HAPC (highest average monthly full-time equivalent plan compensation over 36 continuous months as an active plan member).

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow!
5% after tax is about 7-8% reduction in salary
in 2013, 7% is about 10%.
No raises! Have they thought about hardship on some people?
Are people really their most precious asset?
DOE and LLNS management are far removed from reality!

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with the pension....

They want as many TCP1ers to quit as possible before they VSP/RIF this holiday season and have to pay out severance.

Last time they did a layoff, that pesky severance killed the profit margin on that layoff. LLNS is not making that mistake twice.

Hence all this BS about "protecting" our pension...

Their techniques are straight out of the standard corporate pension playbook.

Read "Retirement Heist" by Ellen Schultz or look up her interview on CSPAN.

Anonymous said...

Wow!
5% after tax is about 7-8% reduction in salary
in 2013, 7% is about 10%.
No raises! Have they thought about hardship on some people?
Are people really their most precious asset?
DOE and LLNS management are far removed from reality!


Welcome to working at LANL for the last several years. This month our contribution goes up another 2% to 6-8% depending on salary.

Anonymous said...

Last time they did a layoff, that pesky severance killed the profit margin on that layoff.

The severance payments come out of operating funds. Higher or lower severance has no effect upon the potential LLC performance award.

Anonymous said...

How does a TCP-1 retiree get access to the information on the LLNL TCP1 Benefits Web page?

Anonymous said...

"The severance payments come out of operating funds. Higher or lower severance has no effect upon the potential LLC performance award."

More cost savings = more free operating funds to transfer more Bechtel costs (i.e. managers) off Bechtel's books and onto ours.

Anonymous said...

More cost savings = more free operating funds to transfer more Bechtel costs (i.e. managers) off Bechtel's books and onto ours.

April 3, 2012 9:20 PM

What a crock. Aggressive, intentional stupidity doesn't help anything. Please try to explain that vapid comment. What you are suggesting is blatantly against the law and would not survive even the most cursory GAO audit.

Anonymous said...

Not claiming it's illegal, just saying it's happening: LANL/LLNL workers being laid off and Bechtel folks being hired.

And yes, I'd love to see an audit of all the efficiencies realized (NOT!) by the corporate takeover of the labs.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know what the COLA will be for TCP1 this year?

Also, when will it be applied?

Anonymous said...

TCP2 (UC Retirement) will be 2% in July, as regular as a sundial.

Anonymous said...

TCP2 is NOT "UC retirement."

Anonymous said...

April 11, 2012 3:07 PM blathered on:

TCP2 is NOT "UC retirement."

Funny, I could swear that's wherethose monthly checks are coming from. As well as the ones from the lab.

Anonymous said...

TCP2 is the 401k-centered retirement system offered by LANS and LLNS. It has nothing to do with UC retirement and is not a pension plan. Simple, really.

Anonymous said...

Those who chose TCP2 when had to choose between TCP1 and TCP2 froze their retirement with UC. It's simple really.

Anonymous said...

And all employees who were hired after the transition have TCP2 and have no connection whatsoever with UC. Simple, really.

Anonymous said...

There are more TCP2 employees that froze their UC retirement than new employees, so UC is definitely a big part of the formula for most who read this blog, I'm guessing.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I believe employees hired after the transition have something worse than TCP2 (i.e. significantly less LLNS 401k contributions).

Anonymous said...

Actually, I believe employees hired after the transition have something worse than TCP2 (i.e. significantly less LLNS 401k contributions).

April 21, 2012 8:22 PM

And the purpose of the word "actually" in your comment is...? That you don't "virtually" believe it? That someone thought you believed something else? Or that you are under 40 and never learned "actual" English?

Anonymous said...

I was referring to the comment:

"And all employees who were hired after the transition have TCP2".

I am over 40, but not a pedant.

It's an informal blog, get over yourself, stop trolling and contribute something interesting to the discussion....

Blog Archive