I just received a letter from the NYS Teamsters concerning possible changes to our pension plan, which I should note is a multiple employer plan owned by the Teamsters. It seems that our plan is in "critical status" as of Jan. 1, 2010, which means that the plan's funded status is at 65% or less and is projected to have an accumulated funding deficiency within the next four years. The plan is required under Federal law to develop a rehabiliation plan aimed at restoring the financial health of the plan. Included in this plan is the possible reduction of adjustable benefits, which include: ---Post retirement death benefits ---Sixty month payment guarantees ---Disability payments ---Early retirement benefits or retirement type subsidies ---Benefit payment options other than a QJSA, to include lump sum payments The level of any benefit payable to you at Normal Retirement Age that you have already earned will not be reduced and if you are already receiving benefits from the plan these payments will continue. What does this mean? From what we have been told the local is looking to increase the minimum retirement age to 57 regardless of years of service. Currently we can retire with 30 years of service at any age and receive a full pension. We can also currently retire with 25 years of service at any age and receive a reduced pension. I would strongly urge all fellow Teamsters to look beyond the pension as your only source of retirement income. Social Security should also not be considered a primary source of retirement income. I am talking about fully funding another form of retirement income, whether it be a 401k, Roth or traditional IRA, a stock portfolio, or perhaps a combination of any of the above. While I do feel safe that my pension will be there in 9 years it may not be at the level that I had planned on so I will also be looking to boost my other retirement investments. I should also note that in the letter it stated that all contributing employers must pay a 5% surcharge to help correct the plan's financial situation. This surcharge is for the first year the plan is in "critical status" and will increase to 10% for each succeeding year until the next contract agreement is finalized and a new contribution rate established. The part that I find most concerning is that our younger employees may end up working 5 to as many as 10 years longer to receive what may turn out to be a lesser benefit from that which our current retirees enjoy for their 30 years of service. I should note that our most current retiree receives about $4K the first of every month. I don't know what he is paying for health insurance but I do know that the local is also looking to raise that.