Pension takeaway

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by fedupped, May 16, 2013.

  1. fedupped

    fedupped Member

    Speaking of the pension takeaway...last statement calculated to about 3500 a year since the porta potty thing. So if your a new hire, and somehow hang in there for 20 years...You will be able to live comfortably on..umm..ah..about 100,000. Total..kaput...10000 a year for 10 years..below poverty... .. . So where does the line start for all these people who are after our job?
  2. thedownhillEXPRESS

    thedownhillEXPRESS Well-Known Member

    The sad fact is that even the :censored2::censored2::censored2::censored2::censored2: portable pension will be on the chopping block soon.
  3. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    I totally agree. Fred wants WalMart, and he's almost there.
  4. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    Three and a half years ago (when I was still working for Express), I did a detailed spreadsheet work-up of the PPP compared to the DBPP. It worked out that the PPP was only worth slightly over one-third as much (in 'time-value-money' comparison), to the DBPP. This makes the assumption that the monies are invested at 'market rate', which the PPP ISN'T.

    What is keeping the impending 'Exodus" from Express wage ranks manageable at this time, is the fact that everyone that hired in before 2003 has some level of benefit under the DBPP (the benefit was capped in 2008). This means that every wage employee with over 10 years in (at this point) has something under the DBPP. Those who have more than 20 years under the DBPP (hired in 1988 or earlier), are actually coming out ahead under the DBPP/PPP (they know it, they just aren't talking about it too much). They are 'vested' with almost a maxed out DBPP (since wage progression came to a halt - they haven't lost anything in potential benefit compared to how it was calculated at the end of 2008). In addition, they are receiving PPP monies - in essence, they are 'double dipping' (Express knows full well of this issue).

    The real screwing is to those hired in after 2003. They are solely under PPP (if they hired in before 2008, they received 'compensation credits' which were placed into a PPP balance - I was one of those people).

    A full time Courier hired in after 2008 (barely above entry level wage), is making no more than about $37,000 a year (and this is with working reliable OT). They are receiving about $1,850 a year in 'contributions' to their PPP, invested at a paltry 4% rate (and what is the stock market doing right now....). Take a look at your statement which will have your 'contribution' in it coming out very soon.... you will see what I mean if you are a full-time, bottomed out Courier.

    And when the 'official' inflation rate eventually ramps up (it is being suppressed right now), that 4% will only counteract the effects of inflation - there will be no real rate of return. The rate is tied to Treasury Bond yields, but that is a paltry amount above inflation.

    A 'real' pension would have the employee receiving approximately 15% of their gross wages (at no cost to the employee), placed into a fund which receives a 'market rate of return' which is about 8% on average for a conservative investment strategy - NOT the 4% you get (Express holds the cash, so their paying out only 4% is cheap money for them, they pay about 8% on bonds, yet only pay 4% on the pension money they 'hold' - you can figure that one out...). FIfteen percent of $37,000 is $5,550 a year.... this very real Courier is only getting $1,850 a year. The PPP (in the absence of any other employer sponsored plan), ISN'T a pension - it is a JOKE.

    If you received $5,550 a year (in 2013 dollars), invested at market rate of 8%, continuously for the next 25 years while working as a Courier, you'd have $435,000 in your PPP (worth about $270,000 in 2013 terms). If you guys would ever go to the effort to organize, this is what you'd have...

    By receiving $1,850 a year, invested at Express' 4% current rate for the next 25 years, you'd have just under $80,000 in your PPP (worth about $50,000 in 2013 terms).

    Now... you're looking at the numbers and seeing that one is about 5 times as much (when I 'suggested' that your pension is worth only about one-third what it should be). What is happening is the effect of that paltry 4% rate of return on your money. You are getting hit with a 'double whammy' - you are only receiving only one-third of the monies you should be, AND you are only getting a rate of return of HALF of what it should be. Then to top it off, the effects of inflation makes the rate of return you are receiving only a hedge against inflation - no real growth in value of the 'investment' is occurring.

    What you will get for a 'career' at Express (rest assured, there will be NO wage employees putting in 25 years in full-time status for those solely under the PPP - won't happen), is basically a payment for your utility bill once you hit age 60. That's it, nothing else, your Express 'pension' will basically pay your utilities for the remainder of your life (while you live in a trailer or government subsidized housing). And I'm amazed why you guys still persist on sitting on your butts and not do the real work of organizing, simply amazing to me.

    The line that exists for everyone after your job exists and is very real. Most if not all of these people don't get any pension whatsoever in their current job (if they are employed), and aren't making what an Express Courier makes. Now.... they aren't held to the pace of an Express Courier either. These people are looking to LIVE in the present, they can't afford to look at retirement at this stage.

    Do you see the strategy of Express yet??? Has your HR rep done the math in front of you and really explained what you will have should you actually put in 25 years solely under PPP??? Trust me, they KNOW what will happen to a wage employee putting in 25 years - making the BIG assumption that full time wage employees will still exist for all that time.

    Look at Fred's bastard step-children.... (Ground drivers), They get NOTHING in benefits, and Ground is very profitable because of it. Do the dots come together yet???

    If you have ever watched the "Connections" series with James Burke (British historian), I'm going to make a 'connection' much like he did in his series....

    The push to implement DRA is CONNECTED to the joke of a pension (along with no real wage progression). Express MUST have DRA in place, in order to ensure its volume is moved by employees who will receive virtually NOTHING for a pension and NOTHING resembling a career. Simply put, in the absence of a real pension, the future Express won't be able to attract individuals who are capable (or willing) to operate with 'old methods' of making deliveries. They will need (MUST HAVE) a force of low intellect, follow the dots employees who will have a rate of turnover only rivaled by Wal-Mart - to get away with offering such a joke of a pension.

    And you all are still sitting on your butts....
  5. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Ok. Maybe I have been wrong. Maybe we aren't "all Ground now"...but we will be.

    So where do we go from here? I don't see Express being organized anytime soon, but that doesn't mean it's over, does it? Personally, I think the problem is far greater than what is going on at Express and is national in scope. People have been sold out. Their labor is cheap and future tenuous at best. If enough organizing can't be done at Express, can it be done in the form of a PAC? Can the concerned at Express find common cause with other people being used and discarded? What can be done at the local level on up? As much as I detest alot of what the right wing has done in this country, these are the mechanisms they have employed. It might be too late for this generation of laborer but is there something we can do to lay the foundation for the next?
  6. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    It never really got started. Everyone was waiting for someone ELSE to get the ball rolling. Problem is, given the scope of the problem, virtually all threw up their hands and didn't want to get involved until and unless some other organization got the ball rolling. The typical Express reader here was hoping and waiting that some group would do the heavy work, then they would have some hope and would join in once the time was right (with no real danger to themselves). Everyone bitching and moaning, and WAITING for someone else to do the work. All I've seen in the 4 years of my intermittently posting here.

    It is.

    They sold themselves out due to apathy. There is a very real change in the environment (we live in a world market and we compete against the lowest wage available as long as the "Holy Grail" of Open Markets is hoisted as the end goal).

    The Express Couriers won't go to the effort to establish a network of organizers to organize themselves... you think they even know what a PAC is (Political Action Committee)??

    They can't even find common cause amongst themselves. They are much like other wage employees in this country, they think of themselves as 'individuals' and as a result, are being screwed individually by their employers. Until and unless wage employees see the light and recognize that unionization is the only way to defend themselves against the 'schemes' of their employers, nothing will change for the better.

    Employees that work for large corporations can get off their butts, utilize existing labor law and organize. The employees are going to have to do it for themselves, 'big labor' isn't going to go to great lengths to hold their hands and get them organized any more, the employees THEMSELVES are going to have to do the work - then only rely upon the unions to provide the expertise to actually negotiate contracts. A new 'paradigm' is going to have to be adopted - employees will have to end the apathy, organize THEMSELVES and only rely upon the actual labor unions to provide the skilled personnel to engage in contract negotiation. What comes around goes around.... (and will need to come around again).

    History is cyclic. It is said that generational traits are also cyclic too. The theory states that there are 4 broad categories of generational traits, and they repeat about every 100 years. The current generation coming up is compared to the 'lost generation' of the early 20th century. The next generation (those in school right now), are compared to the 'Greatest Generation' of the 1930's and 1940's. I honestly think it will take another 'crash', to put an end to the apathy and have the coming generation actually do something about things.

    After what I've seen here -I've pretty much given up on the current generation - they expect someone else to help them out, they aren't willing to band together and help THEMSELVES out.
  7. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't a courier hired in 2008 most likely be in the 3% category? On the lowest payscale a newhire at $14.46hr grosses $433.80 on 30 hrs, a most likely scenario since most newhires are part-time. Assuming 52 weeks at that average and they're looking at less than $25k including sick day bonus and Peak OT. Less than $750 into the PPP. and a slow creep up from there. The only advantage to the PPP is accessible money if you decide to leave the company. It is essentially a courier buyout program.

    The U.S. had a very good run while the rest of the industrial powers were rebuilding. In this global marketplace however the average employee in the States no longer enjoys a bright future. Our loss is a better future for a worker in a developing nation, although he'll probably never see the lifestyle Americans took for granted for decades. The corporate leadership has positioned themselves for this new reality to maintain their lifestyle, and the chief culprit of our demise and their gain is the rise of the 401k system. That pumps billions into the stock market weekly and the big 401k investment firms are working hand in hand with our corporate leadership to rake in as much as possible OUR money into their pockets. Talk about bamboozled, we have no one else but ourselves to blame. And as was demonstrated in my post about getting out of the 401k, those workers who do well, and can fully fund their 401k, rise very quickly to it's defense because THEY do well with it too. This country is relapsing into a system of the well heeled exploiting the poor on a mass scale. Not slavery, but not much better than serfdom. The only difference is it's refined enough to where they can give us a little extra in a raise now and then to keep us from open revolt. This is the reality that the kids were demonstrating against with the Occupy Wall Street movement. They know the score, shame most can't figure it out.
  8. DontThrowPackages

    DontThrowPackages Well-Known Member

    makes sense companies are making money off our money. Who do you know that gives you up to 500.00 a year and doesn't expect anything in return. People are too in debt to revolt. Depending on political affiliate, you may believe every man for himself and why should I take a risk on losing what I have to help someone I don't know or care about. "My wife has a great income and what I bring to the table is an added bonus....". For the rest of us, we backed the wrong horse. Brown continues to be the Major leagues while this place has dropped down to the level of A ball. Rookie league once all the PT'ers are in place. Only thing we have is to do the bare minimum. From what I've heard, it's pissing off some of the upper level. It may even come to a paid meeting to tell every employee to stop working slow and pick up the pace. Expect the "you don't know how bad things are going" tone up until October when we will have done so poorly that the company will need to forgo raises until March. Come March, forgo....
  9. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    I like what both R1a and bbsam said. Even as Fred continues to take, the vast majority of employees sit on their asses waiting to be hand-held to a union card signing table, presented a gold pen, and hand-held away from the table. Although the Teamsters have certainly been of little help, we really have nobody to blame but ourselves. I have been advocating for a union since the mid 90's, and although I hear lots of complaining, when I ask most to sign a card or step-up, they shirk away liked the whipped dogs they are. Collectively, we have stood idly by while Fred has picked our pockets nearly clean and then :censored2: on us as he walked away.

    Current employees need to really take a look at exactly what FedEx isn't offering in the PPA/PPP. When you're 20 or even 30, retirement seems light years away, and then Bam!, you are there. Maybe you need to look at R1a's analysis of what you're getting (essentially nothing) and then realize that when you hit your late 40's or 50, what are you going to have in the bank? With the current low pay, how many employees are contributing the max to their 401k? FedEx offers a pathetic match, but Vanguard is an excellent place to invest. I have maxed my 401k since I was eligible, and with the recent run-up in the market, I'm making in the high 4 figures per month off my investments there.

    While it's true that labor has been "sold out", UPS proves it doesn't have to be that way. Yes, Mr. Smith has built himself an iron house made of RLA and compliant politicians, but if enough lemmings turned away from the cliff, we could still organize and tell this rat bastard to shove his crap sandwich straight up his cheap ass. In fact, we could make him "eat" the sandwich...every last bite. But that requires risk, courage, and effort...none of which seem to be in evidence among the general employee population. They take it in the ass over and over again, hating every minute but unwilling to turn on their oppressor and stick the knife in his ribs. Organizing is a dirty business. Fred plays dirty and always has, so that means playing the game the way he does.

    Nothing will change until talk turns to action.
    Last edited: May 19, 2013
  10. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    You keep talking as if FedEx is unique and separate from the rest of the world. It, and all these other companies, are doing what they do to enrich themselves with their employees' very own 401k money. As long as you participate in the 401k to enrich yourself you are participating in the suppression of the working class, and the shrinking of the middle class. Divest yourself from the stock market, or stop complaining. Those 4 figures you make every month are in direct correlation with the be-all, end-all purpose of corporate America. To incorporate means selling stock to investors to start a business, and then reward those investors with dividends, and to perform so well that the stock being traded on the open market rises in value which rewards those given options to buy said stock at lower prices and sell at a higher price, and to achieve that they do the things necessary to increase profit, including screwing over employees. YOU need them to do this to enjoy excellent market returns, and as long as you participate you are giving tacit approval to their actions. Amen.
  11. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    I'm heavily invested in the 401k because that's the only decent benefit that FedEx still offers, even though it is only "excellent" because it's Vanguard, not because FedEx is generous. Spare me the Business 101. I would much rather have a larger pension, better pay, and quality insurance so I could invest more heavily on my own, and put less into the 401k. If our wages had shadowed those of UPS, I, and everyone else, would have been in a much better position to take advantage of investment opportunities elsewhere, like real estate or investing in a particular prime stock, like Apple. Instead, I didn't have the extra income to invest....Fred did. For a couple of years (thanks, Dubya), I was losing 4 figures a month in that same 401k. Only recently has it climbed past where it was way back in 2008.

    I don't approve of current corporate behavior and ethics, and participating in a 401k is hardly giving "tacit approval to their actions". I abhor what corporate America is doing to the middle class, but I'll be damned if I'm going to retire to a single-wide in some crap town. You have been talking about having to retire in a foreign country for several years now. Wouldn't you like the option to retire in the USA, assuming you might actually prefer it over somewhere else?
  12. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    When you participate in the 401k you are participating in the very system that is pushing people out of the middle class. They don't give you the 401k as a benefit. It's a money laundering system to put your money directly into their pockets. Yes, you benefit from it because you're topped out and that along with your spouse working let's you participate at an acceptable level. Those of us who aren't topped out, especially if we are in areas with little OT, can't participate well enough to finance a decent retirement unless we participate for 40 years and are very discerning in dealing with market fluctuations, etc. But whatever we put in directly benefits the kind of people who force us to work decades next to others who are paid much better, lying all the time about how the company is looking at the pay issue, just hang in there. Go make your thousands, live your American Dream. We who are being screwed helped finance it.
  13. TUT

    TUT Well-Known Member

    I'm with MF on this one. Even though I agree WS is the beast, it falls into the category if you can't beat'm, join'm. Because it isn't changing and you are just doing yourself a disservice fighting against that on principal. Your not looked at as evil investing, it can benefit you... might as well. And you are right, they play us there pretty good to. OR.... educate yourself to a point you can make a lot of money not having to rely on Fedex or WS, millions do just that to.
  14. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    As far as I know, you need to blame Mr. Smith for your economic perils..not me. Last time I checked there was no Beijing Express in the USA forcing Fred to cut wages so we could compete in a global economy. There is no "global economy" in the USA for domestic package delivery. We compete against UPS in a duopoly for the overnight and ground small package segment of the economy. You cannot participate because Fred kept your wages low, killed your pension, and eliminated your OT. Our competition does just fine paying excellent wages and benefits, so there really isn't any excuse to not pay us more, is there?

    I guess that the fact the both my spouse and I work, and invest as much of our income as possible makes us examples of American Exceptionalism and bootstrapping. Participating in a 401k program evidently makes both of us GOP hacks.
  15. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    Who do you think is cheering Fred on to do all of that? The businesses that you benefit by buying their stock through your 401k. And their Wall Street enablers who take their cut. What FedEx is doing to us is evil, but they're a part of a grander scheme. All of these businesses want greater profits and shipping is a major expense. Might be a sin of omission on your part, but participating provides the grease that keeps the wheels turning.
  16. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    I need to provide for my family, and since most of my other alternatives have been taken away I invest how and where I can to maximize my personal profit. Do I like the way Wall Street works? Absolutely not. What are my other choices? I already work a second career on the side.
  17. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    And yet you come down hard on Ground drivers who are trying to feed their families with considerably less than what you make. Don't say they should stand with Express against our corporate leaders when you yourself participate in a much worse scheme and profit from it.
  18. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    I come down hard on the Ground scam, which is a government gift to Mr. Smith of low wage, subsidized workers. The drivers who work for Ground do so at their own peril...and ignorance. I'm not really seeing how me participating in a 401k program means that I support our FedEx corporate "leaders", whom I despise. Please inform me how a 401k equates with what FedEx has done to Express employees. May I point out that I LOST nearly half the value of my investment in 2008? Like I said earlier, my account was losing in the high 4 figures every month. I am only now just slightly above where I was then, so I didn't exactly make a windfall profit, did I?

    Like you said, I'm topped-out, and I got almost all 25 years worth of my Traditional Plan, which pales in comparison to a UPS pension. Am I supposed to feel bad about that? Jeez, the main reason I get on here is to fight Smith, fight the Ground scam, and get employees a square deal from a bastard of epic proportions. And now I'm the bad guy. No way.I'm am truly sorry you have been screwed even worse than me by Mr. Smith, but that's on him...not me.
  19. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    Nope, you're a very intelligent guy, you know why FedEx does what it does. And what many corporations are doing. And how the middle class is shrinking while corporate profits are soaring. Billions get pumped into the stock market through 401k contributions every week. To get the Wall Street funds who manage that 401k money, funds like Fidelity and Vanguard, to invest that money in their stock companies have to show growth in profits. And they're doing whatever it takes to pump up profits. FedEx probably goes to extremes more than most, but the rest aren't just sitting on their hands hoping Wall Street notices them. And the middle class keeps shrinking and pay is stagnant. If you want to invest in it, fine. But it's a conflict of interest to do so while railing against FedEx. They're all in bed together and if you do invest in the 401k you've managed to crawl under the sheet.
  20. Can someone elaborate on the bolded part for me? Is there a way to "cash out" your pension benefit if you quit?

    Sorry if that is a stupid question but I may be leaving (fingers crossed) the Purple People Eater after just over 6 years and I want to make sure I get every penny I can out of them.