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Thursday, May 30, 2013

LLNL, LLNS benefits compared to other DOE

LLNL, LLNS benefits compared to other DOE

This item is from the Pleasanton Weekly blog, might be of interest:

Posted by cosmic-charlie, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on May 14, 2013 at 8:26 am
cosmic-charlie is a member (registered user) of

Don't I know it well!

Many years ago, the career employee was know as an "FTE" or Full Time Employee. And as an FTE, I was very concerned with the retirement structure and the promises made that went along with it.

At the time, with 10 years of service, I quit, out of those concerns, and found a better deal with Stanford (SLAC).

In the Stanford system, employee contributions of 10% or more, was matched in kind up to the 1st 10%, by Stanford.

This was an income reduction tax benefit, and was in real terms, a measurable entity. It was tangible, and real. Very different from some promise.

Bottom line? With 28 years of service to SLAC, my retirement began at the earliest moment to access all of the accumulated funds without early penalties.

With the promise the Lab made, my employment would had to have continued for an additional 6 1/2 years more until age 65 in order to have an equivalent stake, had I not changed jobs.

In addition, health care is a lifetime benefit thru SLAC, just as it was promised at the Lab so many years ago. The difference is, with the Lab moving into a hybrid partnership and away from the UC system, Stanford remains a private entity and BTW, is fully funded, whereas the Lab can modify any deal they want, for any reason, to maintain the bottom line. Hence big time lawsuits we are now seeing.

I maintain promises made should be kept, especially for loyal service over the long haul. If I were near retirement at the Lab, as I would soon be if not for the job change, there would be a great deal of concern about my retirement.

Remember, Lab employees historically did not contribute to Social Security (same as Federal Employees), so all of the eggs were in one basket as it were, and seemed, to this former Lab FTE, too risky to trust in a promise.

Never looked back


Anonymous said...

Remember, Lab employees historically did not contribute to Social Security ...

That's going back a long ways. People starting in 1980 were already UCRS with SS taxes. Don't know how much earlier PERS was not an option, but certainly more than half the Lab history now.

Anonymous said...

The lab started with PERS. They shifted to UCRP about 1962. In 1976 or 1977 the UCRP coordinated with Social Security.

In each case those under the existing plan had the choice of shifting over to the newer plan. As an example, those who were in the UCRP only prior to the coordination with SS were given the option to join that plan. At the time folks from HR advised that unless you were closing in on retirement and already had quarters in the social security system, it was not a good idea to change from UC only to UC/SS.

Anonymous said...

If it shifted to SS in 1977 or thereabouts, then maybe a quarter of the 2013 LANL workforce is covered, based on the appearance that one in four looks to have hired on during that era. Since appearances can mislead, it just might be the northern NM lifestyle that caused the white hair and wrinkles.

Anonymous said...

When UCRP coordinated with SS many, if not most, employees elected to stick with the old plan (no SS).

Anonymous said...

I signed on in '77. SS was the only option that year. I believe '76 was the last year of the old plan.

I came to LLL from a Civil Service Lab. I was recruited by someone from LLL: I did not apply on my own. In my interviews I expressed concern about the benefits, as I already had considerable time in the Civil Service system. I was assured that the benefits were just as good and that UC health insurance was guaranteed and just as good as Federal.

They lied! Although I was already retired, when LLNS took over, UC health insurance went away. There is a lawsuit; substantially equivalent my ***! Don't ever believe anything management tells you.

Anonymous said...

Ph.D.'s who hired into LANL by 1977 or early are mostly gone by now. Those employees would have 36 or more years of service and would have not a financial incentive to continue working.

Anonymous said...

The real tragedy is that the Nation needed its National Labs, not an LLC enrichment plan.

You could do both I guess, but the later in preference to the prior.

Anonymous said...

Let's give a big "THANK YOU!" to our elected representatives, for bringing that about.

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