What pension/medical retirement benefits to you get?

  1. Please tell me what pension/medical retirement benefits you get from your hospital employment??
    We are ready to start union RN contract negoitiations at our hospital and we know this is a big issue since most nurses are in their 40s and have never had these benefits. We do have a 403K pension program, BUT, the hospital only matches 6% which could be only $3000/yr depending on your salary. Pretty poor, in our opinion and NO medical benefits other than medicare if you survive work to be eligible at the age of 67.
    What is wrong with this picture???? This is something also the public and your politicians are not informed of. They somehow think the hospitals take care of their own!!! What should we do about that????
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   ResearchRN
    Sounds pretty typical to me. I've never seen any company match more than 6% on a 401(k) or a 403(b). Have also never heard of health benefits after retirement except in civil service jobs.

    Our union contract includes a selection of health benefits, 403(b) with no matching, option to participate in a largely insignificant pension plan.

    However, we are VERY well paid.
  4. by   lee1
    Originally posted by ResearchRN
    Sounds pretty typical to me. I've never seen any company match more than 6% on a 401(k) or a 403(b). Have also never heard of health benefits after retirement except in civil service jobs.

    Our union contract includes a selection of health benefits, 403(b) with no matching, option to participate in a largely insignificant pension plan.

    However, we are VERY well paid.
    HMMMM. My father just died, he had VERY nice pensions from his RCA/LUCENT jobs including retirement medical/dental benefits. Maybe this is just a symptom of this generation but not the last?? Is this why there is no loyalty to employers anymore???

    Interesting that you are well paid. I am glad for you. I don't know any nurses in my area who can say the same, especially in light of what they do on their jobs-----high acuity patients, demanding families, irresponsible employers, high cost of living area.
  5. by   -jt
    In NYC, most direct-patient-care nurses in any kind of facility - not just hospitals, are unionized with the New York State Nurses Assoc.

    Medical benefits: An assoc standard is that NYSNA nurses do not pay for our health benefits. We make no contribution from our paychecks for health benefits at all. Free healthcare benefits are to be guaranteed and this is non-negotiable.

    Pensions: Most facilities nurses are in the New York State Nurses Assoc defined benefit pension plan. http://www.rnbenefits.org/NYSNA/Pens...ion%20plan.htm

    Those that werent, have had the same deal you do & many have had to go on strike to change that to the much better NYSNA pension plan. I know RNs that have been in the NYSNA pension plan for the last 20 yrs & are retiring with about $3000/mth. In addition to pensions plans, the hospitals also have a payroll deduction retirement account that we can choose to enroll in or not. Each nurse decides how much she wants deducted from her paycheck & it is taken out before taxes. Taxes are then deducted based only on the amount remaining in the paycheck. There is no employer contribution to this plan. We can save up to about $12,000/yr in this account and reduce our taxable income come April 15th. Last year I paid taxes on $10,000 less than I actually earned.

    Retirement health benefits: are something that is fairly new & we are obtaining those in our contracts now as a retention incentive. The details for that benefit can be viewed in the recent contracts listed in the links below. They vary slightly depending on what the nurses at each facility decided was acceptable to them, but basically all give the retiring nurse healthcare benefits until medicare or even after, if she works to a certain age or for a certain number of years (encouraging retention of experienced nurses)

    Nurses at Presbyterian Approve Breakthrough Contract
    http://www.nysna.org/NEWS/PRESS/PR2001/pr122101_1.htm


    Westchester Med RNs approve landmark contract
    http://www.nysna.org/NEWS/PRESS/pr2002/pr052402.htm


    New Saint Vincents Contract Sets the Pace
    http://www.nysna.org/NEWS/PRESS/pr2002/pr050902.htm


    Mount Sinai nurses approve new contract
    http://www.nysna.org/NEWS/PRESS/pr2002/pr051602.htm


    Staten Island University Hospital Nurses Approve New Contract Abolishes mandatory overtime & guarantees safe staffing levels
    http://www.nysna.org/NEWS/PRESS/PR2001/PR101101.HTM


    St. Catherine's RNs approve contract that limits overtime and ensures safe staffing http://www.nysna.org/NEWS/PRESS/pr2002/pr030902.htm
    Last edit by -jt on Oct 31, '02
  6. by   Gomer
    I work for a non-profit, private hospital. Wages & benefits are OK, but retirement...what's that? The corporation that owns us contributes 5% of our yearly earnings (not including OT) into a retirement fund. We are not allowed to contribute any $$$'s. We are vested in 5 years if we work at least 1240 hours/year. The money goes into mutual funds and/or bonds of our choosing (have about 100 to pick from) and we can move the money around through the different funds. We also have a TSA we can contribute to (again, no matching funds), again mutual funds and/or bonds. Right now, after 25-years of hard work, I have about $70,000 in the first fund (down from $200,000 thanks to the stock market) and $125,000 in the second fund (down from $275,000 thanks again to the stock market).

    If the stock market keeps up (or should I say down) this way, when I turn 65 I should be able to buy a couple of cans of dog food a month to get by on.

    On a side note: do any of you remember when Mr. Bush and the Republicans wanted to privatetize social security last year? At least I will get $1200/month from SS when I turn 65...that is, if SS is still with us.
  7. by   llg
    I've worked for about half-a-dozen hospitals in different parts of the country and have come to prefer the 403-B type plans to pension plans for the reasons listed below. (My employers' contributions have ranged from 4% to 6% -- added to my own, tax-deferred contributions.)

    1. People who move from one institution to another, work part time, or take time off to have children, etc. rarely get a "good deal" from a traditional pension plan. The vesting periods, calculations of benefits, etc. often work against such folks.

    2. In most 403-B plans, once the money is in your account, it is yours to keep. You can roll it over into an IRA when you leave. The vesting period only applies to your employer's contributions, not yours.

    3. In a pension plan, your future welfare is dependent on the financial health and decision-making of the people running your company. If the company goes bankrupt, there goes your pension. (Remember Enron?) In a 403-B plan, you direct the nature of your investments yourself. If you choose to invest the money conservatively (with smaller growth potential, but fewer risks), you can do that and virtually gurarantee your future. If you choose to invest your retirement money in higher risk investments (higher growth potential, but a larger risk of significant loss), then you can choose that, too.

    I've never heard of a hospital that paid for health care benefits after you stopped working for them (other than the legally required tempory coverage to cover you in-between jobs).

    llg
  8. by   NicuGal
    We are a county hospital and we are in the public retirement system. We are vested for full medical after 10 years.
  9. by   -jt
    <I've never heard of a hospital that paid for health care benefits after you stopped working for them >


    Thats what "retirement benefits" are - we're negotiating either the money to pay for nurses medical care when they retire after working for a place for certain number of years & until age 65 or the healthcare itself.

    Times they are a changing.
  10. by   lee1
    I guess this must not be a very important topic as not too many people have responded although I know that this is precisely what hospital nursing unions are striking over throughout the country.
    So where is the conversation? Noone has pensions or retirement benefits at their jobs?
    We need to improve our upcoming contract, please help to give us some language or ideas to add that are working in your jobs.
  11. by   Tweety
    In Florida in a nonunion area, we have no retirement benefits or pension anymore. We must participate and contribute to a retirement savings plan, and they match a about 4 or 5%, I can't remember. It's not just in hospitals, but most nongovernment jobs around here have done away with fully paid pension/retirement plans and left us to fend for ourselves. What amazes me is the number of my coworkers who contribute nothing to our plan.
  12. by   baseline
    The fact that not too many people have responded is sort of depressing. Benefits are a major part of compensation.....and I wish everyday that I had had a 401k when I was 20.........I'd in Fla on vacation instead of working!

    I am a contract employee with a for profit company and we are well compensated with pto and medical leave. Good health insurance and dental. Also a flexible spending plan that I just love.....As far as retirement goes, we have a 401k with matching at 6%. The non-profit hospital I worked for had both pension and 401k with 3% matching. No flex spending and not as much PTO.
  13. by   doobiedo
    I worked for 15 yrs in one hospital until it closed. no 401k but there was a pension that supposedly is protected and hopefully I will see someday...that remains to be seen...
    Worked more recent years for hospital with 403b ...no match and luckily I left when I did because the merger it underwent according to what I heard did no one any good in the benefits area..in fact most lost in including vacation and accumulated sick time..
    I left the hospital scene for many reasons not the least of which was due to poor retirement plans.....best move I made
  14. by   Nurse Ratched
    Pension plans in the traditional sense are a thing of the past. Even if there is one in place, the chances seem to be more and more that it will be underfunded, or the company will go out of business before you can collect from it. I've had 403B's wherever I've worked, but the company has either not matched, or matches a percent or two, IF the budget allows it in a given year.

    Private management of your retirement is the only way to go, IMHO. No one else is going to watch out for you.

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