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I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

Old 12-07-2005, 07:01 PM
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Default I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

Yesterday, my company announced the freezing of management pensions as of June 2006. I have been with Verizon for almost 24 years. Verizon is highly profitable and the pension fund is fully funded. We (the employees) were all blindsided yesterday and were notified by company-wide e-mail. This is not a company in trouble taking drastic measures to save the company. If Verizon is successful in this, no one at any company in the USA will be safe. Briefly, here is what they are going to do...In june 2006 they will freeze pensions and add 18 months of service to each management employee. Effectively, making Dec. of 2007, the last day to earn benefits. Whatever $$ is in your pension account, that is it forever. Personally, I will be 4 months short of early retirement at this date. Because I fall 4 months short, Verizon will reduce my pension benefit by more than 6 figures. Thousands of other employees will be hit even harder. They will go after our unionized employees next.

I'm asking all of you to take a few short minutes to contact your State Senator and members of Congress on their web sites, to stop the outright theft of our pensions by these companies. Just Google your Senator, and the web site and contact form will be easy to locate. Today it is me and my family, tomorrow it could be you and I pray that does not happen. Thanks for your help.
Old 12-07-2005, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

It sucks. I feel for you but realize that this has been happening in companies all over the country for the last 7 - 8 years. There is nothing illegal about it so you cannot go the law suit route. It may be considered age discrimination, there were some claims of that when companies first starting making the switch, but it would seem that by now companies know how to set the plan up so that this is no longer a valid claim.

Companies do not have to offer a pension plan of any type- they do so only to obtain and keep employees. Defined benefit plans are expensive. If management feels that they are better served by not having one type of plan over another, or any plan at all for that matter, they are likely to make change they need to in the best long-term interest of the company. Or so the line goes. Personnally I think it stinks. Many folks chose a company based at least partly on the benefits, retirement chief among them. To change the rules so to speak mid career is very unfair.

In my case I can honestly say I lost millions, at least from a planning point of view. There's no recourse because it wasn't really mine, yet, it was only a promise, and one I could cash in on only if I continued to work for my company and lived long enough to collect.

I wish you luck.
Old 12-07-2005, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

"theft"????
i don't think so...yes, it sucks, but how exactly is this theft?
your pension is/was funded by the company, i presume? meaning, it's their money?
theft would be taking away a retirement fund or other investment that you put your money into
don't get me wrong here...i'd be pissed as well, but to call this theft, and then to suggest that we call our congressmen to get involved, is absurd
Old 12-07-2005, 08:14 PM
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Default RE: I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

Be thankful you have a job with a pension. I had to take an early retirement in 1993,and have not had an increase in my pension in 12 years. I'm too young for S.S., but I still have it better than alot of people,Iget to fish when they have to work.
Old 12-07-2005, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

Yep, the Military was a good choice for me, full benifits (money in the bank the first of the month) every month at age 45, 6 more years I retire again.....Local Government....Some of those big companies look good for 15-19 years then they pull this kinda crap, IBM has been doing that same type of stuff for over twenty five years, when you get to the 24 year mark, making good money putting money in the PP, they tell you sorry as of this date we will no longer be doing that type of business and sorry, but your job, is going with it.....SEE YA
Old 12-07-2005, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

Are you sure it is all bad news? I read in Forbes that part of the plan is to increase the Company match for the 401k. They don't say by how much, but I think they are trying to equalize the retiree benefit plan among all the management employees since they are merging with MCI. Is it conceivable that the net result will be an improvement in your plan? The article I read made it sound like MCI people were strictly on their own with 401k's and virtually nothing from the company, except their 401k' match, It also said that MCI and Verizon Wireless management employees currently do not have any retiree medical or pension benefits at all. It looks like Verizon management employees do. I think Verizon is trying to standardize three different retirement plans into one?

I don't know what you can do here, I am quite certain though that Congress would do nothing good for anyone.
Old 12-07-2005, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

I doubt that our govt. can or will do anything about it. It does make me feel better to blow off a little steam after a pretty good gut punch. I'm 46, you younger guys better not depend in a large part on your companies for retirement. Thank God I didn't. I'm not hurt too bad but many are. I'm grateful for my job and I just heard tonight that Ford is restructuring and 30,000 will lose their jobs. I feel for those folks. Those good ol' Mayberry days are long gone.
Old 12-08-2005, 12:51 AM
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Default Re: I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

Many larger companies are doing the same, or even worse. I also was in mgmt. for a Fortune 500 company and took early retirement, thinking all the finances would work out. They did, until the company pension was cut in half and my med. insurance increased 6X, with much reduced cov'g. No, it doesn't seem right, but thats the direction things are going. Put all you can into the 401K.......
Old 12-08-2005, 05:52 AM
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Default Re: I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

I worked for big companies unitil 1999. No one gave me a pension. I am self employed now, and my boss (me) still won't give me a pension. Make use of 401k's like the rest of us; it is a great tool for youre retirement. It's just that you have to save in it. Most of us are plannng for our retirement knowing that we have to do it on our own. No company will help us. The government won't help us (their will likely be no social security when I retire). Taking care of your own future may be scary to you, but it is liberating.
Old 12-08-2005, 06:19 AM
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Default Re: I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

Lost my pension in 2000, after I joined THT and the subject of retirement surfaced I explained/complained about what had happened. Hope you get a better responce that I got.
Old 12-08-2005, 06:38 AM
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Default Re: I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

TB Hawks - 12/7/2005 8:46 PM Yep, the Military was a good choice for me, full benifits (money in the bank the first of the month) every month at age 45, 6 more years I retire again.....Local Government....Some of those big companies look good for 15-19 years then they pull this kinda crap, IBM has been doing that same type of stuff for over twenty five years, when you get to the 24 year mark, making good money putting money in the PP, they tell you sorry as of this date we will no longer be doing that type of business and sorry, but your job, is going with it.....SEE YA
I hear ya TB Hawks!! I didn't retire from the military, but my time in goes towards my retirement, leave earned and other benefits in my gov position. I don'tearn as much as an individual inthe private sector, but I sleep well at night. In the last few years, we've brought on 3 programmers, two Cisco techies, and two network admins from the private sector. All had 6 figures or close to it, and all were downsized or victims of the IT bubble bursting.
Old 12-08-2005, 09:06 AM
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Default RE: I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

Fund your 401k to get the full employer match. Then fund your IRA's to the max. If any $ is left over go back to the 401K until it is fully funded. If you have to pull out a lump sum, consider a fixed or equity indexed annuity.

Joe
Old 12-08-2005, 09:14 AM
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Default RE: I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

Companies have the right to change the condition of your employment....and you have the right to not accept those changes. If you do not like the comp package at this company feel free to quit and find another company offering a pension plan that suits your needs......good luck.
Old 12-08-2005, 09:21 AM
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Default Re: I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

My old employer did the same thing and I never thought of it as such and afront. They just decided to shift from the Pension type of retirement to the 401k. I didn't even get an extra 18 months. What you are facing is a logical company decision to change your benefits.
Old 12-08-2005, 10:16 AM
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Default Re: I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

A lot of pilots got it the same way not too long ago. My current company has a pension but I don't even count it when I think about my retirement as I don't know how long it will be around.
Old 12-08-2005, 11:42 AM
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Default Re: I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

This is why it is so VITALLY IMPORTANT for people to be SAVING money. The days of "counting on" ANY kind of pension or retirement plan is obsurd. Those days are OVER.

Time to stop living in la-la land and start saving money like jfikentscher recommened in his post.

It's a wonder that you've been at Verizon for as long as you have. You have to realize that we are the LAST of a generation (age 40+) that will EVER be at ANY kind of job that long. Better find a trade - QUICK!

Old 12-09-2005, 02:58 PM
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twentynine - 12/8/2005 7:19 AM

Lost my pension in 2000, after I joined THT and the subject of retirement surfaced I explained/complained about what had happened. Hope you get a better responce that I got.
I joined THT some time after that. I think its hard to comment on a subject like this. I feel like I'm in a herd of zebras and I just watched one get taken by the lions. The zebras just keep walking and eating. They tend to watch their back a little more though. I'm wondering when I get the news. Its hard to say anything except it just plain sucks. Almost need a contingency for our contingency plan now a days. I hate to admit it and it pains me to say I don't expect to have any employer/government support around when I want to retire. Saying it and accepting it are two entirely different things. I'm thinking about selling everything I have hoarding the money and becoming a professional homeless guy. I'd probably make out just as good in the long run. Doubt my response helped any...
Old 12-09-2005, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

I am burrying cash in the back yard in a mayo jar? anybody know a good way to keep the lid from rusting?
Old 12-09-2005, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

One word son.................PLASTICS...........
Old 12-09-2005, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: I'm a Verizon employee...we need the help of all THTers

broncobirdy - 12/9/2005 2:58 PM
twentynine - 12/8/2005 7:19 AM Lost my pension in 2000, after I joined THT and the subject of retirement surfaced I explained/complained about what had happened. Hope you get a better responce that I got.
I joined THT some time after that. I think its hard to comment on a subject like this. I feel like I'm in a herd of zebras and I just watched one get taken by the lions. The zebras just keep walking and eating. They tend to watch their back a little more though. I'm wondering when I get the news. Its hard to say anything except it just plain sucks. Almost need a contingency for our contingency plan now a days. I hate to admit it and it pains me to say I don't expect to have any employer/government support around when I want to retire. Saying it and accepting it are two entirely different things. I'm thinking about selling everything I have hoarding the money and becoming a professional homeless guy. I'd probably make out just as good in the long run. Doubt my response helped any...


A very smart guy told me, he would have got a better responce if his dog would have died.

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