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Retirees Sue Verizon Over Pension Plan
Claim $7.5 Billion Deal Kills Their Pension Protections
by Karl Bode 06:36PM Tuesday Dec 04 2012
Verizon Retirees are suing the telco in order to stop Verizon's $7.5 billion sell off of 41,000 pensions. According to the legal press release, the 128,000 member non-profit Association of BellTel Retirees Inc. claims that Verizon's move would turn the plan into an annuity, in the process depriving the retirees of federal pension protections. ""On behalf of 41,000 Verizon retirees scattered across the country, who are being given no choice, no voice and no protection in the transfer of their pension assets, we are calling upon the company to reverse this action and halt this predatory business transaction that will impact many retired Americans, who labored a lifetime to fund their earned pension benefits," Retiree association President C. William Jones said in a statement.

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brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Welcome back to the working world.

Hopefully they will be able to win. Could you imagine 75 years old and you can not retire.

David
I start new work on
Premium,VIP
join:2002-05-30
Granite City, IL
kudos:101
Reviews:
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·magicjack.com
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Re: Welcome back to the working world.

said by brianiscool:

Hopefully they will be able to win. Could you imagine 75 years old and you can not retire.

isn't that what we the people are hoping to achieve?
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1
No they want to be poor and in poverty.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Well you do realize that the age to retire is now in the high 60s/ early 70s. Was changed sometime ago.
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1

Re: Welcome back to the working world.

My grandmother is 82 year's old and she still works.
Maggs
Life is awesome
Premium
join:2002-11-29
Woodside, NY
Reviews:
·RCN CABLE

Well....

Never trust your employer to give a damn about you after you retire. You have essentially outlived your usefulness to them, so they chuck you out with your pension liability. The PBGC and state guaranty associations are all woefully underfunded.

Hell with my company, the match is on a graded vesting schedule, with a 6 year vest, that's really horrid. I vest 20% after 2 years but I doubt I'll be there that long.
Maggs
Life is awesome
Premium
join:2002-11-29
Woodside, NY
Reviews:
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Re: Well....

Studebaker, a failed automaker was the reason ERISA was passed in the first place, the guaranteed pensions went belly up. Never trust your employer to have your best interests at heart, they work for the shareholders.
--
Yes, ladies I am single.

M37

@wideopenwest.com

Re: Well....

Actually they work for themselves. These so called CEO's say they work for the shareholder which is bull.
15444104
Premium
join:2012-06-11
Well said. Good comment!

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

ERISA rules concerning plan terminations are explicit

Verizon can terminate the pension plan under ERISA rules that allow the substitution of the defined monthly benefit with an insurance annuity. The chances that the retirees will prevail in court, assuming Verizon meets the qualifications for termination and follows the rules, is slim.

Unfortunately for the retirees, an insurance company backed annuity isn't as safe as a guaranteed pension backed by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), a gov't agency.
»finance.yahoo.com/news/verizon-r···887.html
Of course, if the gov't deficit continues to balloon, the PBGC guarantee might not be worth much either pretty soon.

Here is a couple paragraphs that I get every year as part of the ERISA mandated annual pension report my company must send me. They lay out the ERISA rules about plan termination. These types of terminations happen by the dozens every year. So far my pension plan has not taken the annuity route, even though it was one of the options I could have chosen at retirement. I'm one of the lucky ones, so far.

PDF file showing ERISA plan termination rules:
downloaddesktops0001.PDF 680344 bytes

Verizon would be using the standard termination.
--
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury.
hoyleysox
Premium
join:2003-11-07
Long Beach, CA

Re: ERISA rules concerning plan terminations are explicit

said by FFH:

So far my pension plan has not taken the annuity route, even though it was one of the options I could have chosen at retirement. I'm one of the lucky ones, so far.

Perhaps VZ waited so long because they are finally able to meet the primary qualification:

...that the plan has enough benefits to pay all benefits owed to participants.

Companies that maintain their pensions may have underwater funds that they can't afford to make whole and convert.

Lone Wolf
Retired
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join:2001-12-30
USA
kudos:1
Reviews:
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Plan For Your Retirement

Here's more proof that the only way to fund your retirement is through careful financial planning during your working years. People who depend upon the government's Social Security or a pension from a job may have a rude awakening.

Social Security may have rule changes soon that up the age for beneficiaries or it may go broke. Companies are always looking for ways to screw workers out of their pensions. Young people today aren't safe if they are going to rely on either of those when they retire.

Young people should begin investing in their futures the day they begin working.
--
Another 4 years of Hope and Change.
The rich will still get richer and the poor get an Obamaphone and Food Stamps. lol

Oedipus

join:2005-05-09
kudos:1

2 recommendations

Re: Plan For Your Retirement

said by Lone Wolf:

Young people should begin investing in their futures the day they begin working.

Yes indeedy. I am 22 and I have no delusions about the fact that I will never see a dime from all of the wasted Social Security (Medicare, too) money that comes out of my check. I can't, and wont, rely on the benevolent government (or my employer) to ensure that I don't die on my feet.

C0deZer0
Oc'D To Rhythm And Police
Premium
join:2001-10-03
Tempe, AZ
Oh yes, like that's possible when the net pay is already below your cost of living before such things are factored in.

Yea, at that point it's just becoming a wage-slave even faster.
--
Because, f*ck Sony
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: Plan For Your Retirement

So you lose money each month?
Expand your moderator at work

Laidofftech

@optonline.net

I wouldn't trust 401Ks either.

When I was laid off from this company I found out that I had a pension. I was able to pull it out and roll it over to my IRA. I got it invested in some really conservative options. I rather have some growth than none. On the other hand, I worked for an employer who royally screw their employee's 401K. Several employees noticed the contributed funds employer funds and their contributions were not made. It got everyone to check their checks only to find out no one got funded for several weeks. Once it was noticed, it was discovered the payments went "missing". Things settled and payments were made to the accounts. Shortly after, there was several amendments to 401K mainly when it came to the employer contribution. Long story short. Employer contributions went from month to month, then to the quarter. When I left, it was yearly! If you didn't stay the year, you didn't get the employer contribution. Moral of the story don't even trust employer contributed 401K plans.

When I was hired at Verizon we were given a pension. Anyone after our date were given a 401k plans. From what I heard, Verizon is working very hard to ditch the pension fund to go with a 401k. The smart thing to do is make the workforce within 5 years of retirement stay on pension funds. However, the moment of retirement that money should be pulled out and handled according with a financial adviser. Those with less time, be rolled into a 401K. End of story.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: I wouldn't trust 401Ks either.

said by Laidofftech :

Moral of the story don't even trust employer contributed 401K plans.

You still see benefits from your contributions. Also, the issue sounds like the 401k administrator had issues. Definitely not unheard of. Great 401k plan unfortunately are far and few between. Doesn't mean you shouldn't contribute and recognize the tax advantages and the matches if they exist. Don't forget to fund your IRA too
said by Laidofftech :

From what I heard, Verizon is working very hard to ditch the pension fund to go with a 401k.

Like most other companies. The 401k option is less costly and more sustainable.
said by Laidofftech :

However, the moment of retirement that money should be pulled out and handled according with a financial adviser.

Why not roll into an IRA and manage yourself. No need to pay extra money unless you don't have the time or inclination.

toby
Troy Mcclure

join:2001-11-13
Seattle, WA

Re: I wouldn't trust 401Ks either.

A 401k is tax subsidised legalised gambling, it makes the people at the top richer and gives the illusion of investing to the lower people.

Investing/gambling, one and the same a lot of the time.

Companies are trying to get rid of all defined pension plans, it saves them money by converting to 401k, for one big reason, they give you a LOT less to put into your 401k.

footballdude
Premium
join:2002-08-13
Imperial, MO

Re: I wouldn't trust 401Ks either.

said by toby:

A 401k is tax subsidised legalised gambling, it makes the people at the top richer and gives the illusion of investing to the lower people.

That's ridiculous. I've put a little money every paycheck into a 401k for 25 years and I've got enough put away to retire on. When you gamble, the house wins. When you invest, if you're not an idiot, you win.
--
Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty - Ronald Reagan

Laidofftech

@optonline.net
Oh the 401k administrator had issues. Not going into details but there was talk about legal filings. Enough said. However, we also found out there were other issues governing the changes in the plan. Still the experience made the concept of 401k a turn off. In hindsight, should have had both the 401k and pension at big red [Verizon]. I might had some more cash in the bank.

I only advise to seek a financial adviser since many people have no clue how to do it. Many firms you start your IRA with have advisers. It helps out. I see you are CYA with the similar advice.

As for IRAs, I find them more challenging when it comes to funding. Mainly, because you are in control and you can only put in a controlled amount, $5000 a year. It may not see to be much compared to a 401K especially with an employer contribution. I believe it is still 6% plus ECs. Not everyone realizes this. IRA contributions are easier to skip because personal expenses get into the way. IF you have a $100 bucks to contribute that week and you need fuel for the vehicle. Chances are fuel is winning out over your retirement. Even though the fuel is really a short term gain.

To the guy who made the comment about gambling, any time you put money down to make more money, it is gambling. Some people are better at it than others.
sludgehound

join:2007-03-12
New York, NY

Tough beans

And all those who've had to face a Time Warner like monopoly to 'fund' these 'pensions' -- ehat's in it for them?
Business of business is business. People just another plug in the wall. No mercy.

Bill Neilson
Premium
join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA

What this shows is that Corporate

America should be unplugged 100% from any rules or regulations because they care about their customers and employees.