So you think you can negotiate for yourself....

  1. NEA represents school nurses as well as teachers and other support professionals. NEA aggressively represented the interests of its members to protect their rights to a secure pension.

    Secure Retirement Secured
    Colorado The Colorado Education Association (CEA) played a leadership role in preserving the state pension plan that covers teachers and other public employees. As part of the Colorado Coalition for Retirement Security, an alliance of 10 employee groups and unions, CEA members rallied against the governor, state treasurer, and legislators to fight a proposed referendum that would have kept new state employees out of the existing defined-benefit plan, which guarantees a set retirement income based on years of service and salary. Anti-pension advocates were proposing a new defined-contribution plan, in which the state only would put money into an employee's retirement account, but that account would not guarantee a set retirement income.

    Retirement toolkit for defending your pension.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   llg
    Personally, I would rather have a good defined-contribution plan than a traditional (defined-benefit) pension plan.

    Traditional pensions are only adventageous to a subset of nurses. Many of us like to take time off during our careers to go back to school and/or raise children. Others like to change employers during our careers. Still others want to work part-time at some point during our careers. Traditional pension plans usually "punish" people who have such variability in their careers ... while they strongly favor those people who work full time for the same employer for their entire careers.

    Also, pension funds are not totally safe. (Think Enron.)

    That's why I am happy not to have a traditional pension plan -- a system developed long ago back in the days when people worked in the same job for the same employer forever. I would much rather get my retirement money up-front from my employer, where it would be mine to control from day 1 -- and I can take it with me when I leave.

    llg
  4. by   SummerGarden
    Quote from llg
    Personally, I would rather have a good defined-contribution plan than a traditional (defined-benefit) pension plan.
    :yeahthat:

    I agree with this post. I am a very non-traditional worker and so I am glad to have my money in a retirement plan I have access too and have control over. I am not working full-time for any employer as I am working my way through school and working for myself.

    However, I have money stashed away from previous employments that I rolled over. I go over my funds often to make sure they are growing. Anyway, I would not have my retirement fund if I had ever worked under a traditional employer with a traditional system since I am a product of my generation and thus have never worked for any employer more then 3 years. This may be the case once I am out of nursing school too. I don't know. I doubt I will work for anyone for 20 years so I want my retirement options to remain the same.
  5. by   HM2VikingRN
    That is your choice......This was posted more as an example of the resources that unions bring to the table to address potentially harmful legislation. Everyone has a different situation. What the US really needs is a truly portable universal pension. (See the Progressive Policy Institute for an example.) The 401 K system is very expensive and inefficient with high fees and risk for participants.
  6. by   weirdRN
    I would rather be paid all that I am worth by my employer and allowed to choose what I want as far as benefits. According to a statement I received the toher day I am actually making aobut 32.00 an hour. I see about 19.75 of it. The rest goes to insurance and retirement.

    If I want the $280.00 ins. ploicy that should be MY Choice. If I want to save that money and add it to my retirement or rainy day fund then it should be MY Choice.

    I realize that the current Soc Sec was set up b/c people weren't Fiscally responsible enough to save away for things like LT Care or the infirmity of old age. I think Roosevelt had high ideals and had good on his mind when he was concocting all these Gov't programs, but they are a hinderance to poeple like me who are able to manage their money better than the Gov't Accountant who is taking bribes from big business.

    I have no plans to stay where I am for 30+ years. I want to do other things with my nursing degree than care for the elderly the entire time. I got into nursing because I knew I could be flexible and that I wouldn't be trapped in one place if I didn't want to be.
  7. by   emsrn1970
    It's a shame they care more about the self interests of teachers rather than the education of children. This is why I don't believe nursing unions when they claim to be for patient ratios and what not for the safety of the patients.
  8. by   HM2VikingRN
    Quote from emsrn1970
    It's a shame they care more about the self interests of teachers rather than the education of children. This is why I don't believe nursing unions when they claim to be for patient ratios and what not for the safety of the patients.
    One of the reasons that you belong to a union is for the purpose of collective bargaining over work rules, wages and terms of employment. One of the long term implications of bargaining is a secure retirement savings system. The reason that this was posted was to point out the resources that NEA provided for its members when their pensions were placed at risk.
    Last edit by HM2VikingRN on Sep 4, '06
  9. by   HM2VikingRN
    The Universal Pension.

    The PPI policy report outlines a strategy to create a universal pension system - a simple alternative to replace the current confusing myriad of tax-favored retirement accounts, which discourages the average American from adequately saving for their future. This new UP proposal will provide:
    • Universal Access. Universal Pensions would provide access to retirement security to all who work hard and play by the rules by giving every working American a $500 retirement stake at age 25. To further encourage low-income families to save, a 50% refundable tax credit would be provided to families that contribute annually to their Universal Pension.
    • Portability. Unlike traditional defined benefit plans and 401(k)'s, a Universal Pension would move with workers from job to job. When a worker changes job, his or her 401(k) account would seamlessly transfer to their Universal Pension, without any cumbersome paperwork or the need to open an IRA.
    • Simplification. By eliminating the 16 different IRA type accounts and replacing them with a Universal Pension account, all Americans would get a good deal, not just the financially sophisticated or those who can afford an accountant or lawyer. Instead of 16 different sets of rules, there will be one set for everyone.
    • Protecting Worker Savings. Universal Pensions will help to protect worker savings from future Enron's. After their 401(k) benefits become vested, employees could choose to transfer portions of their pensions from the control of their company into their UP, to be controlled solely by the individual investor. In addition, UPs, unlike IRAs, would be protected from bankruptcy proceedings.
    "With this plan Americans will never have to fill out another 401(k) rollover form, and parents will not be discouraged from fulfilling their most important responsibility -- the care of their children," said Weinstein.
    Last edit by HM2VikingRN on Sep 4, '06
  10. by   lands1980
    Thanks for some info that our profession that doesn't face these issues as a whole adequately.
  11. by   HM2VikingRN
    Quote from llg
    Personally, I would rather have a good defined-contribution plan than a traditional (defined-benefit) pension plan.

    Traditional pensions are only adventageous to a subset of nurses. Many of us like to take time off during our careers to go back to school and/or raise children. Others like to change employers during our careers. Still others want to work part-time at some point during our careers. Traditional pension plans usually "punish" people who have such variability in their careers ... while they strongly favor those people who work full time for the same employer for their entire careers.

    Also, pension funds are not totally safe. (Think Enron.)

    That's why I am happy not to have a traditional pension plan -- a system developed long ago back in the days when people worked in the same job for the same employer forever. I would much rather get my retirement money up-front from my employer, where it would be mine to control from day 1 -- and I can take it with me when I leave.

    llg
    Enron was a defined contribution pension plan model not a defined benefit plan. If it had been a defined contribution plan than the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp would have stepped in to assume control of the plan. If a defined contribution plan crashes down around your ears you are just out of luck. The reality is IMO that we need to form a universal pension system to replace the 401 k system.
  12. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Non-union here. I have both a defined benefit AND a defined contribution plan.

    403b AND 'Lay Employees Retirement Pension' (which means: non-nuns - they have their own plan).

    Unions have their place, but at least in THIS issue, I CAN negotiate for myself. In fact, unionization would probably mean the END to such benefits as contention outweighed congenial.

    Unions DO have their place: but as I've consistently said - not EVERYPLACE.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 4, '06
  13. by   llg
    Quote from HM2Viking
    Enron was a defined contribution pension plan model not a defined benefit plan. If it had been a defined contribution plan than the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp would have stepped in to assume control of the plan. If a defined contribution plan crashes down around your ears you are just out of luck. The reality is IMO that we need to form a universal pension system to replace the 401 k system.
    OK, OK ... I didn't know the details of the Enron retirement plan. I'll also admit that our current system needs some improvement. But your original post (that I was responding to) wasn't clear about the changes you wanted to see and included some rather inflamatory rhetoric that led me to respond.

    Most defined-benefit plans that have been available in the past have NOT been in the best interest of most nurses. If you are proposing an entirely different program from what we are familiar with, you should have explained it in your original post and not "muddied the waters" by simply referring to defined-benefit plans and defined-contibution plans as if there were only 2 types. You should have explained that you were interested in a 3rd type that most of us were not even thinking about.
  14. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Enron's defined contribution plan included, like many such plans, employer matches that were represented as preferred stock options to employees. That made those contributions not under the control of the employees - just like what would have happened in a defined benefit plan.

    And, ENRON hyped loyalty by advocating that the portions of the defined contribution plan UNDER the employee's control be invested in company stock. And, based on their stock history, that was also a smart investment - if you didnt know about the 'other shoe' about to drop.

    That made the contributions of the employer, and in many cases, also of the employee, worthless.

    But it also means that, EVEN IF they had had a defined benefit plan, it would have likewise been worthless.

    And a union wouldn't have changed that outcome.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 4, '06

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