Tuesday, May 5, 2009

McClatchy retiree wonders what's going on with his retirement plan

A McClatchy retiree wonders what's up with his retirement plan:
Several months ago I received a letter telling me not to worry, my retirement was fully funded. Yesterday I received one that said not to worry, even though it was only funded at 88% but with the backing of the PBGC in the event that the plan is terminated.

Is anyone hearing rumblings about the termination of the plan or is this notification the first sign of impending bankruptcy plans.

What caught my attention is Item 2 on the list of benefits not covered by PBGC. I.e. you have not met all age, service or other requirements. Does anyone know if a vested employee that is not 62 going to see his retirement swirling the bowl with the rest of MCI?

If you have more info, leave it in comments.


Stan said...

I got these notices from both MCI and Gannett -- noted that GCI's plan was 96.6% funded. It also seemed like MCI's was bit more circumspect. As this was a required notice, I don't believe it really can tell anything about any possible actions by either newspaper company (but anything can happen)

Anonymous said...

11:36 AM Well, you can rest assured of one thing. Since the companies are no longer adding to their funds the level will most certainly decline.

The only real question is, will they bail before bankruptcy, or will it be as a result of bankruptcy which could have an effect on the maximum payout.

Otherwise it is clear that they are preparing to default.

Anonymous said...

For vested employees in pension plans, the PBGC uses the money that is available in the account (88 percent of full benefits) to buy annuities from big insurance companies (Prudential is one) that then handle the retirement as normal. Of course, if something like AIG happens to Prudential, all is lost.

Anonymous said...

I am a former McClatchy employee and eligible for a future pension. My pension benefits like all McClatchy employees is guaranteed by an agency of the federal government agency, PBGC. Unless you are a very high earner and have benefits above a certain level, something like $45000 or so you are covered. This amount is increased annually as well.

Anonymous said...

The maximum payout via the PBGC is around $46,000 annually. If your pension pays you more than that, but then your company goes bankrupt and the plan is transferred to the PBGC, then your pension payout declines to the maximum which is approximately the figure cited above. I forget the exact amount.

A lot of airline pilots got hurt badly when those carriers when bankrupt a few years ago. Many of their pensions were much higher.

Also, because they have to retire at 60 and cannot fly, they are double slammed because there is a penalty in PBGC for retiring before 65.

I don't know what McClatchy or Knight Ridder pensions are typically, but don't expect more than $50,000 per year if McClatchy goes bankrupt.

Anonymous said...

12:13 PM and 12:52 PM you're both wrong.

A portion of your benefits are guaranteed but nothing, and I mean nothing guarantees that it is going to be raised annually. It is reviewed and adjusted annually but down is possible, not to mention that you can be penalized if they decide down the line that they have been over paying you.

The maximum amount is 54,000.

Anonymous said...

I think you have to be with the company 10 years and be over age 55 to meet the pension requirements. It is my understanding that people meeting this criteria are ok??!!

Anonymous said...

$50,000 a year! Crap! That would be a damn huge raise for me!!!

Anonymous said...

Does this have anything to do with 401ks? I still havent' moved mine from my McClatchy days.

Anonymous said...

OK, It's bad enough to lose your job due to Management incompetence but are we going to eat a shit sandwich when MNI goes under ?

Somebody better clear this MNI pension thing up ! I busted my ass for over 20 years, I better get what was promised for my trouble.

Am I going to get 100% of my meager pension or not ?! I got many years to go before I can get it so I obviously am interested in finding out.

Anonymous said...

1:55 PM:

Pension is seperate from your 201chaos.

If you worked for over a certain amount of years you qualified for a very small pension. A very, very small pension.

Anonymous said...

1:55 PM The PBGC doesn't cover 401K's. On the brighter side your 401K can actually regain it's value.

Anonymous said...

Aren't you people sorry you don't welcome HR people to post? One of them could get this right. Or -- what a concept! you could call and ask someone in HR instead of hoping to get accurate info on this blog!

Anonymous said...

Am I going to get 100% of my meager pension or not ?!

In a nutshell, no, you are not going to get 100% in all likelihood. If it is a small pension, you might come close but if you had a 50% survivor benefit that will also be reduced.

There are variables that can affect you either way and much depends on the age you were or will be when you retire, if your company went bankrupt, the year you will retire, or retired etc.

When it happens you can request an estimate of your benefit, I don't know if you can request one before the government actually takes over a pension, but I doubt it.

I believe much depends on their general mood because the scary truth is they will not even confirm the amount of your benefit for 2 to 3 years after they take control and only then if you request it. At that time they can actually decide if they have been paying you the amount that they believe is correct and take back the amount that they feel they overpaid.

You can of course appeal within 45 days of confirmation.

Comforting, huh.

Anonymous said...

Aren't you people sorry you don't welcome HR people to post?

Since when were HR people not allowed to post.

I just thought they stay away because of the shame that they feel for the misery that they have contributed to honest, hard working individuals, while they sit on their asses making jokes about the people that they are canning. (don't try saying you don't do that. You've been snitched out)

Anonymous said...

Well that f'er Pruitt better start transferring his salary and bonuses to the pension fund !! I did not bust my balls so he can enjoy his retirement !!

Anonymous said...

Here's a newsflash! I am a carrier for the Charlotte Observer owned by McClatchy. Last week we received our checks late one day and this week there are no checks and no one knows why. I saw on Fox Business a couple of weeks ago about McClatchy being warned to raise their capital or esle. They only way to do that is take or delay payment to us the employees and the retirees.