NURSE THE NURSE: gotta improve retirement benefits

  1. Anyone out there notice that the retirement benefits for nurses is greatly lacking? FACT: Nurses are very likely to retire without significant financial benefits and absolutely NO employer sponsored health care coverage after working 20-30 years or more in a health care profession. FACT: Considering that the majority of nurses are female, they will live longer and be more likely to have chronic health problems associated with aging--requiring medical services. FACT: More women than men will experience poverty in their "golden years". FACT: The nursing workforce will have approximately 50% of all RN's in this country eligible for retirement within the next decade. FACT: There is a critical nursing shortage predicted within the next decade. There is already a current nursing shortage in major practice areas of nursing and a decrease in enrollment in the schools of nursing. I have a great idea! To encourage nurses to stay on in the profession longer I suggest the health care industry get crackin' on beefing up their retirement contributions! For example, the employer could improve TSA matches according to the amount of years you work for the employer. In fact, I believe that any business that employs allied health professionals in order to advance a profit have a responsibility to their employees who dedicate their careers to the health care industry. In addition, I do not believe the health care industry is as "emaciated" financially as is often depicted. Financial analysis show that many health care indurstries in this country are showing large profits. I can guarantee that it isn't coming to those who are at the front lines and providing the services....eg. the nurses, the occupational therapists, the social workers, the med. techs and nursing assistants etc. But what about the huge payrolls spent on salaries and expense accounts for many of the chief financial officers and executives of these organizations? In any event, I would like to hear what you think we should do next to improve this inequity. For the "health care industry" to place such undue hardship on their workforce in their "golden years" is nothing short of cruel. It is time the industry acknowleges the needs of their changing workforce by increasing the basic pension fund accumulation--so that nurses will get more than $350 monthly after 25 years in nursing!! This may entice longevity and retention in the nursing workforce. I believe that the health care industry as a whole could stand to gain some much needed nurse-friendly credibility and send a very positive message by letting us know we are valuable--enough to make improvements in their health care and prescription benefits so meds and needed services at retirement are met. It just seems fitting, that those of us who provide health care services throughout the course of our career, should be able to access health care in our most vulnerable time of life--retirement. What do you think? LSMO RNC

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    L.Smo RN
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   NorthNurse
    Amen, Amen, Amen, Lets get the word out! Nurses have power, let us use it effectively!To create the type of career we can stay in, and recruit others to.

    Originally posted by lsmo:
    Anyone out there notice that the retirement benefits for nurses is greatly lacking? FACT: Nurses are very likely to retire without significant financial benefits and absolutely NO employer sponsored health care coverage after working 20-30 years or more in a health care profession. FACT: Considering that the majority of nurses are female, they will live longer and be more likely to have chronic health problems associated with aging--requiring medical services. FACT: More women than men will experience poverty in their "golden years". FACT: The nursing workforce will have approximately 50% of all RN's in this country eligible for retirement within the next decade. FACT: There is a critical nursing shortage predicted within the next decade. There is already a current nursing shortage in major practice areas of nursing and a decrease in enrollment in the schools of nursing. I have a great idea! To encourage nurses to stay on in the profession longer I suggest the health care industry get crackin' on beefing up their retirement contributions! For example, the employer could improve TSA matches according to the amount of years you work for the employer. In fact, I believe that any business that employs allied health professionals in order to advance a profit have a responsibility to their employees who dedicate their careers to the health care industry. In addition, I do not believe the health care industry is as "emaciated" financially as is often depicted. Financial analysis show that many health care indurstries in this country are showing large profits. I can guarantee that it isn't coming to those who are at the front lines and providing the services....eg. the nurses, the occupational therapists, the social workers, the med. techs and nursing assistants etc. But what about the huge payrolls spent on salaries and expense accounts for many of the chief financial officers and executives of these organizations? In any event, I would like to hear what you think we should do next to improve this inequity. For the "health care industry" to place such undue hardship on their workforce in their "golden years" is nothing short of cruel. It is time the industry acknowleges the needs of their changing workforce by increasing the basic pension fund accumulation--so that nurses will get more than $350 monthly after 25 years in nursing!! This may entice longevity and retention in the nursing workforce. I believe that the health care industry as a whole could stand to gain some much needed nurse-friendly credibility and send a very positive message by letting us know we are valuable--enough to make improvements in their health care and prescription benefits so meds and needed services at retirement are met. It just seems fitting, that those of us who provide health care services throughout the course of our career, should be able to access health care in our most vulnerable time of life--retirement. What do you think? LSMO RNC

  4. by   Jacci59
    Where do we start ??? I am retired after 25 yrs of service,to one institution and draw a pension of $274 a month. I have been a nurse for 39 years If I wasn't back working, and married, I could not afford to pay for Health insurance, let alone, a home, utilities etc.
    I 'd love to have the money, now, for all the overtime that I GAVE to the institution that I worked 25 yrs for. I wouldn't have to work as much now. Jacci
  5. by   OC_An Khe
    All the posts in this thread are right on the money. Its a truism that people don't get interested in retirement benefits till well into their working lives. Nursing pensions are compounded by the fact that many nurses work part time and move from job to job. All nurses, especially the young ones need to take heed to these facts. The 403B/401K plans need to be maxed out as far as contributions go, the earlier you do this the better. Its rare to find an employer match to these contributions but it should be asked for continually. Especially during any Union negotiations. Nursing as a profession must be competitive with other professions in order to attract the quality of people that are required for the profession.
  6. by   lsmo
    I agree that ANY avenue nurses can use to negotiate their compensation should reflect a press for improvements in our retirement benefits. I am certain that this is a topic that deserves immediate and drastic improvements. It is my hope that we can get this topic in the spotlight in an effort to get more minds working together to improve our quality of life in retirement. The power of collective efforts by nurses is phenomenal. We need to get this topic out there for the public to witness our national outrage as to how the health care industry discards and scarcely compensates their retired nurses--the very nurses who have enabled them to sustain billions of dollars in revenues and profits! It would make quite an impact to have the news do a cameo spot on television where they interview retired nurses who now are unable to access health care and are living in poverty in their retirement after years of working in a "caring" profession. As a note of interest, when surveyed, our hospital's RN's overwhelmingly (81%) requested that our union negotiate in fervor for improvements in our "retirement package".

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    L.Smo RN

    [This message has been edited by lsmo (edited February 09, 2001).]
  7. by   oramar
    About three months ago I read an article on the BBC health link that the head of the NHS in Britian offered a really sweet retirment deal to nurses who would delay retiring a few more years. I wondered if the trick worked. I am going to print this thread out and send it to my representitive, state and local. Perhaps if some UK nurses read this they could tell us more?
  8. by   Tiara
    This would be a good idea for the Million Nurse March. Better benefits should definitely be incorporated into their agenda. Unfortunately, young nurses do not realize the dearth of benefits to be found in hospital nursing until it's too late.
  9. by   Mijourney
    Hi Ismo. Great "out of the box" topic. I've recently contemplated purchasing LTC insurance as well as additional disability insurance. Being disabled and/or old, as we all know, is very expensive. It would be great if all the profits that are going to administrators, consultants, vendors, and the like would instead be included in the benefits of those of us at or near the bottom of the food chain. Because of our mediocre wages, many of us will become wards of the state if we're don't have a spouse or relative with deep pockets who can financially provide for us when we become infirmed.

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