Friendly's Chain Faces Questions on Pension Plan

  1. 0
    I probably should have named it.....do you have benefits???

    From The wall Street Journal

    "The pensions of nearly 6,000 Friendly's workers and retirees are at risk under a plan for the restaurant chain's owner to retain control of the company through bankruptcy proceedings, according to the U.S. government agency that insures corporate pensions.
    The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. on Thursday accused Friendly Ice Cream Corp. of plotting to dump its employee pension plan through a proposed deal to sell its assets to private-equity firm Sun Capital Partners, the buyout shop that took the restaurant chain private in 2007."

    You get a pension for working at Friendly' ice cream???? Maybe I should have worked at an ice cream parlour instead of going to school to be a nurse, get a college degree, work my behind off for 33 years, and work in a hospital.....

    I am curious does anyone have a real pension plan through work? Like firefighters and the Police?
    Last edit by Esme12 on Dec 13, '11
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Quote from Esme12
    From The wall Street Journal

    "The pensions of nearly 6,000 Friendly's workers and retirees are at risk under a plan for the restaurant chain's owner to retain control of the company through bankruptcy proceedings, according to the U.S. government agency that insures corporate pensions.
    The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. on Thursday accused Friendly Ice Cream Corp. of plotting to dump its employee pension plan through a proposed deal to sell its assets to private-equity firm Sun Capital Partners, the buyout shop that took the restaurant chain private in 2007."

    You get a pension for working at Friendly' ice cream???? Maybe I should have worked at an ice cream parlour instead of going to school to be a nurse, get a college degree, work my behind off for 33 years, and work in a hospital.....

    I am curious does anyone have a real pension plan through work? Like firefighters and the Police?
    Yes. Union. The pension is in good shape too, but the hospitals are going to go after it every contract.
    Esme12 likes this.
  5. 0
    Quote from MN-Nurse
    Yes. Union. The pension is in good shape too, but the hospitals are going to go after it every contract.
    That's what the steel companies did and GMC....they file financial restructuring and dissolve the pensions under financial responsibility. I think it's sad as nurses we don't have pensions unless in a union facility. Is this the wake up call to collective bargin? Can we continue to demand more and more "education" and finacial debt to be treated less than a employee at Friendly's ice cream shop? I only worked at a Union facility as a supervisor so I didn't get the benefits. I think more need to be aware as they enter this profession just how poorly nurses are treated and maybe then there can be change.
  6. 1
    No pension here, but now I want some ice cream... Haven't been to a Friendly's since probably 1985 when my cousin worked at one in New Jersey...
    Esme12 likes this.
  7. 1
    While pensions - technically known as defined benefit (DB) plans - were once common, they have been on the endangered species list for some time as companies continue to look for ways to cut expenses to boost profits. In 1985 nearly 90% of the Fortune 500 Top 100 companies offered DB plans to new employees. By 2010 however, that number had dwindled to 17% with remaining 83% offering only defined contribution (DC) to new hires (McFarland, 2010).

    Under DC plans, such as the 401(k) plans most of us are familiar with, the employee contributes a portion their salary which is matched up to a certain level, typically 50% (up to a limit, usually something on the order of 5% of salary), by the employer. These plans transfer all of the responsibility and risk from employer to employee and are far less expensive for companies. Most employees don't know how much they need to save for retirement and most 401(K) savings accounts are woefully inadequate. An example: In order to provide even a very modest 50% retirement fund for someone making $50,000 per year (meaning $25,000 annually in retirement) over the typical 20 year span, requires something on the order of $500,000 in your 401(k).

    This means that the same $50,000 wage earner must save at least 15% of that salary (assuming both a 5% employer match and a rate of return of around the same 5%). If the employer match is less than than that, and the rate of return is drops to 2 or 3 per cent, as many are predicting, you will need to save much, much more. In fact, to replace half of your income at that level of return, you will need save something on the order of 40% (Mccardle, 2010). Keep in mind that we're talking about pre-tax income. So under the 2 to 3% scenario, someone making $50,000 will need to put aside $20k for retirement. Out of the $30,000 balance, federal income and payroll taxes could take something like $8,000 and state and local taxes perhaps another $2,000. That leaves a grand total of about $20,000 in take-home pay, or just a bit over $1,500 per month, to live and perhaps raise a family. You can easily see why most folks don't save enough for retirement: They simply can't.

    Another problem for DC plans is the business cycle. Most folks will have their 401(k) plan invested in a combination of equities (stocks) and securities (bonds). When these investments decline, as they did dramatically in 2007 - 2008, so does your retirement fund. When this happens, you need to save even more to reach your goal. So if your 401(k) declines by 40% - as was the case for many in 2008, you need to gain 40% just to get back to even. So you either need to boost your 40% savings rate even higher or work longer - a lot longer (at a 3% per year rate of return, it will take something like 11 years to get back to even from a 40% loss).

    Between the loss of pensions and the difficulty of maintaining adequate DC retirement plans, a comfortable retirement is rapidly becoming nothing more than a dream for most Americans.

    References McCardle, M. (2010). The Great Stock Myth. The Atlantic Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...ock-myth/8178/

    McFarland, B. (2010). Prevalence of Retirement Plans by Type in the Fortune 100. Retrieved from http://www.towerswatson.com/united-states/research/2106
    Last edit by chuckster on Dec 13, '11
    Esme12 likes this.
  8. 1
    No pension plan. I did have one at a hospital some years back, but that hospital went bankrupt, and actually I have worked at 2 hospitals that went bankrupt. I work in the south, so you are pretty much "on your own," as unions for nurses here are practically non-existent. If I had known back when I went to nursing school that it would be like this, I would have went into something else. Our teachers, firefighters, law enforcement, etc., get great benefits and retirement here, but not nurses.
    Esme12 likes this.
  9. 1
    I have a "real" pension plan but I won't collect social security so it's not like I'm getting anything extra.
    Esme12 likes this.
  10. 0
    Each of the three hospitals where I have worked have had a defined benefit pension plan, in addition to offering a 401(k)/403(b).
  11. 0
    Quote from chuckster
    While pensions - technically known as defined benefit (DB) plans - were once common, they have been on the endangered species list for some time as companies continue to look for ways to cut expenses to boost profits. In 1985 nearly 90% of the Fortune 500 Top 100 companies offered DB plans to new employees. By 2010 however, that number had dwindled to 17% with remaining 83% offering only defined contribution (DC) to new hires (McFarland, 2010).

    Under DC plans, such as the 401(k) plans most of us are familiar with, the employee contributes a portion their salary which is matched up to a certain level, typically 50% (up to a limit, usually something on the order of 5% of salary), by the employer. These plans transfer all of the responsibility and risk from employer to employee and are far less expensive for companies. Most employees don't know how much they need to save for retirement and most 401(K) savings accounts are woefully inadequate. An example: In order to provide even a very modest 50% retirement fund for someone making $50,000 per year (meaning $25,000 annually in retirement) over the typical 20 year span, requires something on the order of $500,000 in your 401(k).

    This means that the same $50,000 wage earner must save at least 15% of that salary (assuming both a 5% employer match and a rate of return of around the same 5%). If the employer match is less than than that, and the rate of return is drops to 2 or 3 per cent, as many are predicting, you will need to save much, much more. In fact, to replace half of your income at that level of return, you will need save something on the order of 40% (Mcardle, 2010). Keep in mind that we're talking about pre-tax income. So under the 2 to 3% scenario, someone making $50,000 will need to put aside $20k for retirement. Out of the $30,000 balance, federal income and payroll taxes could take something like $8,000 and state and local taxes perhaps another $2,000. That leaves a grand total of about $20,000 in take-home pay, or just a bit over $1,500 per month, to live and perhaps raise a family. You can easily see why most folks don't save enough for retirement: They simply can't.

    Another problem for DC plans is the business cycle. Most folks will have their 401(k) plan invested in a combination of equities (stocks) and securities (bonds). When these investments decline, as they did dramatically in 2007 - 2008, so does your retirement fund. When this happens, you need to save even more to reach your goal. So if your 401(k) declines by 40% - as was the case for many in 2008, you need to gain 40% just to get back to even. So you either need to boost your 40% savings rate even higher or work longer - a lot longer (at a 3% per year rate of return, it will take something like 11 years to get back to even from a 40% loss).

    Between the loss of pensions and the difficulty of maintaining adequate DC retirement plans, a comfortable retirement is rapidly becoming nothing more than a dream for most Americans.

    References Mcardle, M. (2010). The Great Stock Myth. The Atlantic Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...ock-myth/8178/

    McFarland, B. (2010). Prevalence of Retirement Plans by Type in the Fortune 100. Retrieved from http://www.towerswatson.com/united-states/research/2106
    Many hospitals aren't even contributing anymore and it's also about the loss of insurance benefits once you leave the profession. Having lost my butt in 2008 with 401K's I am sadly all too aware of 401K and although my husbands company at the time contribute generously to the funds...there is no way of getting that back now.

    It angers me and frustrates me that we, nurses, can't collective bargin, form a sisterhood like the firefighters and the Fraternal order of police have.....and care for ourselves like we care for others.
  12. 0
    Quote from Altra
    Each of the three hospitals where I have worked have had a defined benefit pension plan, in addition to offering a 401(k)/403(b).
    A non contributory plan and 401K/403b too? Were they union facilities? I had a "retirement plan years ago that was embezzled by the CEO...and never had one again.


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