LEGISLATION NEEDED TO PROTECT PENSIONS

General Motors has announced that it is washing its hands of its defined benefit pension plan for salaried retirees.

Send the NRLN’s sample letter to President Obama and your U.S. Representative and Senators. Urge them to change our laws to prevent companies from raiding pension assets, encourage companies to adequately fund their plans and discourage them from selling plans to third party insurance companies.

http://capwiz.com/abtr/issues/alert/?alertid=61490716&PROCESS=Take+Action

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From NCRO Member Donald  Herman:

I would be interested in knowing how many people have experienced a problem with their $1975.00 health care fund.  I have been calling Benefit Express–talked with supervisors from both Chrysler and Hewitt and have still not received by funding.   I wait on the line and get transferred to many individuals only to hear that a work ticket is being processed.  I have called every week in April and some weeks twice.  Chrysler states the money was transferred to Hewitt and they just give me excuses.
Update: My health care fund was finally funded the $1975 yesterday after many calls the entire month of April.

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NCRO on the Annual Funding Notice

Dear NCRO Member…
Recently there have been a couple of pension related issues that have
come up that the NCRO is investigating on your behalf.
First, you should have received some Annual Funding Notice(s) from
Chrysler that reflects a continuing decline in pension funding. In addition
there was a blue slip included with the Chrysler Group LLC Pension Plan
Notice that stated that Chrysler was electing to take advantage of the law
that allows them to delay funding for plan years 2010 and 2011. In addition
to this, Chrysler has stated in their 10K filling with the SEC that they plan
on contributing $267 million into its U.S. pension plans in 2012.

However, they do not delineate how much will go into salaried pension plans versus Union pension plans. In the next several days we will be sending a note to Chrysler with several questions related to their short and long term pension funding strategies and we will request a meeting with them so we can discuss this and how it affects retirees.

However, at this time we do not have a concern that the current funding level puts our pensions in jeopardy.

In another somewhat related issue, you should have heard that Ford has recently announced a plan to offer lump sum buy-outs to salaried retirees. GM has also said that they are investigating this so there is reason to assume that Chrysler might be investigating this as well.

While we don’t know how these lump sum buy-outs may be executed, we are developing a plan to make sure we are prepared to discuss this with Chrysler. We will include this as a discussion point if we are successful in scheduling a meeting with Chrysler.

As soon as we have anything to report, we will let you know.
Jay Kuhnie – President
NCRO

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NCRO responds to PBGC Director’s testimony to H.E.L.P. sub-committee

Dear Representatives Kline and Miller:

In testimony on February 2, 2012 before the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and in a concurrent press release, Joshua Gotbaum, the Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), testified in favor of the Administration’s proposal to allow the PBGC to set its own premium rates for the insurance it provides for corporate pension plans. The proposal includes allowing the PBGC to charge a higher premium to the pension fund if the company that sponsors the pension plan has a poor credit rating. (There is already a variable premium which is based on the funded status of the plan.) A plan’s PBGC premium would be allowed to increase to up to four times its 2010 premium.

The House committee was apparently not given the complete story on the funding of PBGC premiums during its hearing. In his testimony, the PBGC Director stated that the company which sponsors the plan pays the premium. We believe that the Director’s statement is incorrect. In fact, the PBGC premiums are paid from the pension plan’s assets (thereby reducing funds available to pay pensions), not by the pension plan’s sponsoring company.

If Congress approves this proposal, it will in fact be injurious to the pensioner in two ways.
First, if the PBGC is allowed to set its own rate without the approval of Congress, it will be the same as allowing the fox to guard the hen house.
Second, if the PBGC is allowed to charge increased premiums to the pension funds based on the financial ratings of the pension plan’s sponsor, then they are penalizing the retirees on something which is out of their control. Is it fair to charge higher premiums to a pension trust because a separate party, the company which the PBGC refers to as the “plan sponsor,” has a poor credit rating? We believe that answer must be a resounding NO!

This is tantamount to a double penalty for retirees based on two elements totally outside of their
control.

Your cooperation in further probing the basis for these incorrect statements by Director Gotbaum and in not allowing the PBGC to proceed to self-determine premium rates and charge increased amounts to pension trusts based on the plan sponsor’s credit rating is respectfully requested.

Sincerely,
Jay Kuhnie – President
National Chrysler Retirement Organization
http://www.ncro.org

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Very odd gallop poll regarding pensions

From a Chrysler retiree and NCRO member:

We just received a gallop poll call which after listening to the questions strongly believe it came from GM seeing if my wife who is retired from GM would take a lump sum buyout.

The poll started out with age health questions etc then jumped to would you consider taking a lump sum payment instead of a monthly pension check which the answer was no- then they asked how much money would it take to replace my pension check for which I stated 1 million dollars. They asked a lot of personal questions like amount of assets we have and do we have a 401k managed or do we do it ourselves what our yearly income is etc. for which I refused to answer a lot of these questions but they sure persisted trying to get me to answer.

My mother who lives in AZ and retired from GM also got one of these calls. So I guess this email is for others to beware about answering all of these questions. They sure are looking to buyout pensions.

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NCRO Call to Action

Dear Fellow Chrysler Salaried Retiree:
Just when you thought your TV, newspapers, phone, laptop and mailbox might ease up on delivering the noise of the quadrennial presidential political season, and with all of the media attention now on the fortunes of Mitt, Rick, Newt, and Ron (and Barack); there is another political battle that must be joined. It may lack the drama, emotion and certainly the visibility of the presidential campaign, but for those of us who once worked on Chrysler’s products and programs, it is as important around our kitchen tables as any issue debated by the candidates. Simply stated, this is the battle to protect and preserve your Chrysler salaried pension and the related retiree benefits – the retirement program which you were promised, to which you are entitled, and now may need more than ever.

The National Chrysler Retirement Organization (NCRO) was organized by talented former Chrysler employees just in time to keep our pension program intact – as Daimler left, Cerberus came, and ultimately gave way to bankruptcy, government rescue, and Fiat – from the fate that befell our Delphi colleagues. In league with the National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN), the NCRO leadership fought in law offices, courtrooms, at the Auburn Hills headquarters and in the halls of Congress to make certain that our future well-being as retirees was a part of Chrysler’s future as a recovering, reorganized company.

Now, in 2012, with one-third of the U.S. Senate and the entire House of Representatives (many in new districts) up for election in this presidential year, the political priorities of Chrysler and other salaried retirees must be put back on the national agenda. Only we can make that happen, from the grassroots level.
And what are those priorities? Pension asset protection, reform of the Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation, bankruptcy reform, retiree protection in mergers and acquisitions, protection of retiree health care, Social Security and Medicare proposals head the 2012 list. These are nothing less than fundamental components of our survival and well-being.

This is not a partisan agenda in the Democratic or Republican sense. (The NRLN and NCRO do not endorse candidates or parties.) It is partisan in the Chrysler salaried retiree sense, in the way that driving and recommending Chrysler products is.
What does the NCRO need from you? You do not have to be the next Karl Rove or James Carville. We need you to be interested in retiree issues and be willing to push your legislators for their support. You may already be discussing these issues with fellow retirees and former colleagues with whom you are still in touch. We need you to meet with your legislators and their staff members at local district offices, at their Town Hall meetings, “coffee hours” that most representatives hold and in Washington by joining with other NCRO and NRLN members at legislative conferences in Washington.
The NCRO will work with you and will see that you are briefed in more detail on the salaried retiree political and legislative agenda. You can see the 2012 Legislative Agenda key issue talking points on NRLN website at http://www.ncro.org/nrlninfo/nrlninfo.htm.

In addition to the NRLN Agenda we support the passage of HR1322 that guarantees continuation of retiree health care benefits. You can learn more about HR1322 on Protect Seniors website at http://www.protectseniors.org. To receive the appropriate briefing information, contact the NCRO at the nchryslerro@ncro.org or at (248)633-2827.

How will you benefit? Well, you will experience the stimulation and thrill of participation in the political and governmental process (without the rubber chicken dinners, media events, and fundraising phone calls) while working directly on initiatives that will have tangible benefits for you. Once you’ve met with your representative, let us know how it went.

This is a very important time in our efforts to protect our pensions and benefits. We ask you to join with us in this effort. If you need assistance with understanding the issues and/or with how to contact your representatives let us know and we will assist you. It is time for all of us to get involved…

Sincerely,

Jay Kuhnie- President
NCRO

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Satisfied cutomer

Thanks for the heads up letter regarding the friendly dealer program. I went to the Suburban Dealer in Novi. In about three hours i left with 2012 Town and Country mini van. They were cooperative and friendly and really took care of all my needs regarding trading in my 2009 Town and Country mini van .

Thanks, again. I appreciate the work that NCRO does for the retirees. Donald T. Dennington

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