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UFCW's "Red Zone" Addiction!

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John Briley
Post Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:21 pm

Joined: 21 Nov 2007
Posts: 2157
With the final days of April 2016 upon us, the UFCW’s 2016 Critical Status, ........



........ Addiction Notice, has reared its ugly head once again!

As a current Retiree and Plan Participant for over 38 years with the UFCW Northern California Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund, I recently received on April 18, 2016, the following information regarding our Food Pension Plan .

Quote:


Trust Fund Cover Letter -provided us with a brief explanation of the following notices and also outlined the steps “allegedly” being taken to ensure the security of our Pension benefits.

1. Annual Funding Notice 2015

2. Critical Status Notice "Red Zone" 2016

3. Pension Estimate Availability Notice


Unfortunately, our UFCW Leaders, including our Union Pension Trustees, “ongoing inability” to inform and or educate our respective Food Pension Plan Participants regarding this matter, results in our Plan Participants once again, being “left hanging”, trying to decipher and or understand the confusing information found in said notices!

Seriously, are our Active Members, current Retirees, including “prospective” Retirees, paying attention to any of these “very important” notices as they continue to arrive in our mailboxes year after year?

Are they, (Plan Participants), asking questions, raising concerns, demanding answers etc., from their Union Leaders / Trustees?

Do “any” of our Plan Participants understand and or aware of the changes that “may” be taking place within their respective Pension Plan(s) as outlined in said notices?

Do “any” of our Plan participants know who their Union Leaders are and or who their Pension Plan Trustees are, including how they can locate / identify and or contact said individuals?

Do “any” of our Plan Participants know who their Plan Administrator is and how they can locate / contact their Administrator?

Do “any” of our Plan Participants have any idea, understand and or have ever seen / read their Pension “Rehabilitation” Plan that the Trustees adopted back on July 8, 2010, which was subsequently updated on December 17, 2015?

Specifically, the Pension “Rehabilitation” Plan is designed to allow the Plan to emerge from the (Red Zone) by the end 2041.

Yep,….you read that right,…..2041!

Wow,…. a 31 year Pension “Rehabilitation” Plan.
(July 8, 2010 to 2041= 31 years)

WTF,….that’s longer than most 30 year “home mortgages”!

BTW….. Speaking of the Pension “Rehabilitation” Plan, one would have thought that said document would “automatically” be offered to each and every Plan Participant has a matter of courtesy / practice from their Union Leaders / Union Trustees!

Unfortunately, it appears that the Plan Participants who want a copy of said Rehabilitation Plan, must make a “formal request” to receive a copy from our Plan Administrator at the following address:

Quote:

Administrator -
UFCW-Northern California Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund
UFCW & Employers Trust, LLC
1000 Burnett Ave, Suite 110
Concord, Ca. 94520
1-800-552-2400


For those of you that are on top of all of the above, congratulations, that’s great!

For those of you who may not be, let’s take a few minutes to review the above mentioned documents recently sent out by our No. Ca. Trust Fund.

Before we do that, with respect to my comment about the UFCW’s “Red Zone” Addiction, I would like to provide the following overview of the UFCW Northern California and Southern California, “Critical Status” Notices for their respective Food Pension Plans dating back to 2008!

Quote:

http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/criticalstatusnotices.html

United States Department of Labor (DOL)

Critical, Endangered and WRERA Status Notices

Under Federal pension law, if a multiemployer pension plan is determined to be in critical or endangered status, the plan must provide notice of this status to participants, beneficiaries, the bargaining parties, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and the Department of Labor.

This requirement applies when a plan has funding or liquidity problems or both as described in the Federal law. If a plan is in critical status, adjustable benefits may be reduced and no lump sum distributions can be made. Pension plans in critical and endangered status are required to adopt a plan aimed at restoring the financial health of the pension plan.
Participants with questions regarding the notices should first contact your plan administrator. If you still have questions, contact the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration electronically at www.askebsa.dol.gov or by calling toll-free 866-444-3272.

Notices may be emailed to the Department of Labor or mailed to the following address:

U.S. Department of Labor
EBSA Public Disclosure Room, N-1515
200 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20210

***********************************************

2015 Critical Status Notices:

142. Southern California United Food and Commercial Workers Unions and Food Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/c-notice100115022.pdf

162. UFCW Northern California Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/c-notice061715032.pdf

***********************************************

2014 Critical Status Notices:

178. Southern California United Food and Commercial Workers Unions and Food Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/c-notice121014064.pdf

200. UFCW Northern California Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/notices/critical/2014/c-notice092414047.pdf

***********************************************

2013 Critical Status Notices:

191. Southern California United Food and Commercial Workers Unions and Food Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/c-notice091313029.pdf

215. UFCW Northern California Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/c-notice07081330.pdf

***********************************************

2012 Critical Status Notices:

194. Southern California United Food and Commercial Workers Unions and Food Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/c-notice092812042.pdf

219. UFCW Northern California Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/c-notice071312035.pdf

***********************************************

2011 Critical Status Notices:

167. Southern California United Food and Commercial Workers Unions and Food Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/c-notice082911008.pdf

191. UFCW Northern California Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/c-notice071811069.pdf

************************************************

2010 Critical Status Notices:

223. Southern California United Food and Commercial Workers Unions and Food Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/c-notice081910002.pdf

256. UFCW Northern California Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/c-notice061710011.pdf

************************************************

2009 Critical Status Notices:

110. Southern California United Food and Commercial Workers Unions and Food Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/c-notice080709023.pdf


UFCW Northern California Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund
N/A

************************************************

2008 Critical Status Notices:

84. Southern California United Food and Commercial Workers Unions and Food Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/c-notice0820080002.pdf

UFCW Northern California Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund
N/A


to be continued............
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one of the others
Post Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:02 am

Joined: 14 Apr 2013
Posts: 2414
Well, J.B., I will repeat what I posted a few days ago--they have not been properly maintaining the pension plan for, in northern california, at least a decade, and in southern california, probably closer to two decades (could be more ?). For the union side to have the unmitigated audacity to tell their members they are negotiating the maintenance of the pension plan is unimaginable/stunning. They (the union) are accepting whatever the employer is willing to put on the table. The union has accepted "vacations" on contributions like crazy and have completely eliminated certain classifications entirely.
Amazingly, a negotiated wage "package" would include health and pension contributions. Employees always accepted lower wage increases for enhanced benefits (both health and pension). That not withstanding, the company side of the table believes the pension monies are theirs--not the employees. The whole thing is shameful.

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one of the others
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Retiree2
Post Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 3:32 am

Joined: 11 Nov 2014
Posts: 13
I believe that when "Vacations " were given to the employer and bonuses to the employees with regards to pension contributions it was under I.R.S. requirements for pension funds. At the time under pension guidelines the plan was considered overfunded. This required either reducing contributions or increasing benefits. So several years the contributions were refunded with a percent to employers and a percent to the employees. There was no opportunity for a rainy day fund under old rules. Also I remember monthly pensions at 60 for 30 benefit year credits increasing from $1320 to $1500 to $1800 then $1900. This was how it was until changes in funding requirements. Today a new hire can expect $665/mo. for 30 benefit year credits at age 65 or $394 at age 60. If they are married then it is further reduced by up to 10% and $599/mo at 65 or $355/mo at 60. So a lot of the shortfalls give some blame to old rules (vacations and pension increases) and inflated pensions compared to today's workers and puny future pensions and new rules that allow minimum add on contributions that are going to result in maybe exiting the rehabilitation plan in 2042. That is if their required periodic revues adjust to future (thru 2042?) conditions.
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butch006
Post Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:28 pm

Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 59
Location: United States
www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/09/how-the-irs-wrecked-your-pension.html and now the IRS is involved in deciding our pension cuts."It's a big club and we ain't in it",to paraphrase George Carlin.

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greg eversman
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one of the others
Post Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:29 pm

Joined: 14 Apr 2013
Posts: 2414
You are, absolutely, correct in that the IRS imposed a "vacation" for employer contributions, and retirees were given a thirteenth check yearly to burn down the over funded status of the pension plan (I can only speak with any certainty concerning the northern california plan--even tho the IRS would impact all over funded plans nationally). The stated reason for this "burn off" of over funded monies was because unions are non profit, thus the need to reduce funds. Really short sighted and a complete disaster and a mistake, for sure--this, especially, just preceding the dot com crash.
But, elimination of contributions of designated classifications, and allowing contributions to be reduced by creating contract language that dictates only a select schedule be implemented has only added to the problem. There was a time when all employees contributed contributions from day one (or maybe once finishing the initial probation).
I would not agree that the $1,900 is excessive, especially considering the hit that check will take going forward. To even think about the proposed pensions for new employees at fruition is unimaginable and absurd to even consider.
These reductions are representative of our nation's race to the bottom. My understanding is that the employer's position is that that they don't want to make contributions to an employee that will never collect that pension. Many employees don't stay the 5 years it takes to lock in that pension. The lower the wages, the lesser the benefits and the lack of hours and impossible schedules, contribute to the instability of the folks who work in these union stores. Did the massive burn off or contract language that allows for less contributions in any way find their way into higher hourly wages? I don't think so.
It all looks pretty dismal, especially for the new guys. We will always have, and need, (at least for the relative foreseeable future) manual labor--people who do the work. I see no reason why these people should not be able to earn a life that allows for a modicum of dignity and security. That does not appear to be in the cards for current union grocery workers, at all.

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one of the others
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John Briley
Post Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:09 pm

Joined: 21 Nov 2007
Posts: 2157
Below is an excerpt from the UFCW Northern California Employers Joint Pension Plan - Rehabilitation Plan Update I recently requested from the Trust Fund.

Quote:


UFCW NORTHERN CALIFORNIA EMPLOYERS JOINT PENSION PLAN

Rehabilitation Plan Update

2. Rehabilitation Period, Rehabilitation Plan Adoption Period, and Expected Emergence Date

The Trustees previously determined that, based on information about the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreements, the “Rehabilitation Period” for the Pension Fund began on January 1, 2012 and ended 10 years from such date (December 31, 2021).

However, the Trustees have now determined that in accordance with ERISA Section 305(e)(3)(A)(ii), and based on reasonable actuarial assumptions and upon exhaustion of all reasonable measures, the Plan cannot reasonably be expected to emerge from critical status by the end of the Rehabilitation Period.

Therefore, the Trustees are now updating the Plan’s Rehabilitation Plan and the Preferred Schedule to implement reasonable measures to allow the Plan to emerge from critical status by January 1, 2041.

Before deciding to update the Rehabilitation Plan in this manner, the Board of Trustees considered several alternatives that would have allowed the Plan to emerge from critical status either by the end of the Rehabilitation Period or as soon as reasonably possible after that period.

However, based on input from the Plan’s actuaries, and due to factors beyond the Plan’s control, such as lower than anticipated investment returns, and lower contribution hours than previously assumed, the Board of Trustees determined that the remedies necessary for the Plan to emerge from critical status by the end of the Rehabilitation Period were unreasonable and would result in more counterproductive and adverse effects for the Plan, its contributing employers, and its Participants and Beneficiaries (for example, by requiring annual contribution increases of over 30 cents per hour, which went well beyond sustainable levels).


The Pension Fund is now expected to emerge from critical status by the January 1, 2041, based on reasonable assumptions and implementation of this updated Rehabilitation Plan.

The rehabilitation plan adoption period for the Pension Fund, (the “Rehabilitation Plan Adoption Period”) was the period from the date of the actuarial certification of critical status (March 31, 2010) through the day prior to the beginning of the Rehabilitation Period (December 31, 2011).


I say again,.....

Quote:

Do “any” of our Plan Participants have any idea, understand and or have ever seen / read their Pension “Rehabilitation” Plan that the Trustees adopted back on July 8, 2010, which was subsequently updated on December 17, 2015?

Specifically, the Pension “Rehabilitation” Plan is designed to allow the Plan to emerge from the (Red Zone) by the end 2041.

Yep,….you read that right,…..2041!

Wow,…. a 31 year Pension “Rehabilitation” Plan.
(July 8, 2010 to 2041= 31 years)


I would encourage our active members, including retiree's to,......

Quote:


Plan Participants who want a copy of said Rehabilitation Plan, must make a “formal request” to receive a copy from our Plan Administrator at the following address:

Administrator -
UFCW-Northern California Employers Joint Pension Trust Fund
UFCW & Employers Trust, LLC
1000 Burnett Ave, Suite 110
Concord, Ca. 94520
1-800-552-2400

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one of the others
Post Posted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:33 am

Joined: 14 Apr 2013
Posts: 2414
Please go to the soapbox forum to read newest updates to the unions that applied to the treasury to reduce union retirees pension checks (multi-employer pension reform act).

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one of the others
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John Briley
Post Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:18 pm

Joined: 21 Nov 2007
Posts: 2157
By way of an example,........

Quote:


http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2016/10/28/35000-teamster-members-new-york-face-pension-cuts/92909734/

35,000 Teamster members in New York face pension cuts

USA TODAY NETWORK Jeff Platsky, (Binghamton, N.Y.)

Press & Sun Bulletin 2:27 a.m. EDT October 29, 2016

Excerpt(s):

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Thirty-five thousand New York Teamsters Union members may have to sacrifice a portion of their retirement income to bail out their pension fund.

Current retirees will possibly see almost a third of their monthly payment wiped out next year. Those still working can count on their projected pension benefits being trimmed by 20%.

*****************************

A 2014 federal law allows multi-employer pension funds facing insolvency to cut pension benefits. The cuts, however, have to be approved by both current and prospective pension beneficiaries and the Treasury Department. Last year a similar move by the far larger Central States Teamster pension plan was rejected by the federal government.

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