In the Spirit of Honore' Daumier
We've had life insurance for 30 years. The intent to be used as a replacement for income lost and home pay-off. Giving either spouse a boost into their new life. I was nowhere close to retirement when we bought it. We have chosen to not have survivor pension benefits. Using the insurance money as before.
There are so many avenues that our Negotiation Committees can go for with our current Pension and Health and Welfare benefits. Generally it is a given that their will be increases in the contributions, again it is usually .50 per hour annually for each. I believe that the current contributions going into our individual Health and Welfare plans is sufficient, those members under the Union Maintained Monetary Contributions Plans should do well also (Both plans are collecting from their employers roughly 500 a week). Every Pension trust in America made a killing in 2020 and 2021 with their investments...It could be well over a 20 percent increase their investment returns...2022 will be another story lucky to get 8 or 10% with the recession on the horizon. Let us go over what is possible to improve our Pension and Health and Welfare Benefits:
a. Set up a contribution rate by the employers for our retirees that qualify for an early retirement, I believe that the current Health and Welfare plans are eating the costs associated with our pre 65 retirees. Add to that have a supplemental insurance package for out retiree's over age 65, I believe the West already has that.
b. Have a total spousal survivor clause added, the spouse gets 100 % of your Pension Plan Benefits if you die without any penalties. Before anybody starts crying that this is impossible please look at how healthy these plans are now, particularly with the Feds now shoring up the defaulting pension plans by paying up front the PBGC defaulting pension insurance. Of course somebody has to pay, that is why the Company is trying to get rid of ALL their current Defined Pension Plans for the plain fact that the Pension Insurance rates through the PBGC will be going up considerably for every Private Pension Trust in the US.
c. More Full Time jobs and keeping the ones we have now is very important, they pay into our Pensions and Health and Welfare plans. The West has the advantage of having Part Timers (Peer 84) contributing into the Full Timers (Peer 80) Pension trusts. Their pension formula should be universal for every Teamster no matter what conference or region you happen to work at. For example Peer 80 will pay a full pension when you obtain that total by adding your age and years of service together, so it is possible to retire at age 50 with 30 years of service with a great pension benefit. Also your Part Time years are included with that total, the amount you go home with is adjusted to your full time and part time service in that plan. And it never stops the more you work the larger the Pension Benefit, unlike those under the current IBT/UPS Pension and UPS Part Timer Plan that discontinue benefits after 35 years service and pays peanuts compared to the West's part timers' benefits.
d. Most every full timer under the IBT/UPS Pension Plan has part timer service that pays peanuts and is subject to a 6 % penalty for every year prior to age 65. That can be changed through negotiation. Just get rid of that 6 percent penalty and pay each part time service year at a 70 dollars flat rate, or transfer those funds under the Company controlled UPS Pension Plan into the current IBT/UPS Pension trust for an additional pension benefit, nothing is preventing that transaction, it is legal according to ERISA.
These are just a few examples of what can be negotiated with our Pension and Health and Welfare benefits...I have many more...that will be another day...