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Re: This from the American Benefits Council (not our friend).

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  • donwshuper50
    ...The federal gov t also defines Fully Funded (which of course is actually a definition that allows companies to not fully fund the plan).... Suggest you
    Message 1 of 97 , May 16, 2012
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      ...The federal gov't
      also defines "Fully Funded" (which of course is actually a definition that
      allows companies to not fully fund the plan)....

      Suggest you explain that definition to the unwashed here on the board.

      Perhaps if you checked ERISA regs and the changes made in the early 90's, you would come to a much different conclusion.

      Asking Kathi what to do is like asking - answer yes or no - do you still beat your spouse, or have you stopped . . .

      +++



      --- In ibmpension@yahoogroups.com, "danmayerinetport" <dm47@...> wrote:
      >
      > So the company complaint is that the Fed has been depressing interest rates for years, reducing earnings of assets held by pension plans. The federal gov't also defines "Fully Funded" (which of course is actually a definition that allows companies to not fully fund the plan). The result of these policies is that companies have to put a bunch of money into the plan to keep them "Fully Funded"
      >
      > The more the company has to put into the pension plan, the less money for other things, like expanding the business, replacing old equipment, employee compensation, and profit. You can't wish it to be otherwise; it's simple math and it's indisputable. You don't get to spend the same money twice.
      >
      > Companies want relief.
      >
      > What if they don't get relief? What can we expect these companies to do?
      >
      > 1. Maintain profit levels.
      > 2. Fund the plan according to the law.
      > 3. Starve other spending.
      >
      > It would be stupid to expect any other response.
      >
      > Starve other spending might be expected to include familiar actions:
      >
      > 1. Reduce investments that might expand the business and hire more people.
      > 2. Cut existing jobs.
      > 3. Export jobs to locations where they don't offer pensions.
      > 4. Convert their defined benefit plans to something that doesn't require additional funding.
      >
      > What to do? What to do?
      >
      > So Kathi, if you were working in the Finance org in one of these companies, what would you advise them to do?
      >
      >
      > --- In ibmpension@yahoogroups.com, justa_bean_counter <no_reply@> wrote:
      > >
      > > This from the American Benefits Council (not our friend).
      > >
      > > Text of Letter to Congress by American Benefits Council and Others, Urging DB Funding Interest Rate Stabilization (PDF)
      > > "The undersigned organizations, which represent thousands of pension plans providing retirement benefits to millions of workers and retirees, urge immediate Congressional action to stabilize funding interest rate rules for private-sector pension plans. Without legislation to adjust for current economic conditions, the current plan funding regime will undermine job retention and growth and limit companies' ability to invest in capital improvements needed to be competitive worldwide and to maintain the economic recovery here at home. Moreover, failure to address on-going funding issues will threaten the long-term retirement security of workers and retirees." (American Benefits Council)
      > >
      > > http://www.americanbenefitscouncil.org/documents2012/db-funding_groupletter051512.pdf
      > >
      > > (and they are doing this for the 'long term security of workers', which is a bunch of bull because we don't get one single penny more in our pocket but they create more vapor profit)
      > >
      >
    • flatsflyer
      Mike, I was one of the first employees in EF, We had one building and all admin functions where in an old farmhouse. When we strated there where more TI
      Message 97 of 97 , May 25, 2012
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        Mike, I was one of the first employees in EF, We had one building and all admin functions where in an old farmhouse. When we strated there where more TI employees than IBM'ers. If I rember correctly we had a total of 95 IBM employees onsite. I think the medal prefab building was B/310.

        --- In ibmpension@yahoogroups.com, albanyblue2000 <no_reply@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dino, far be it for me to try to match your Stakhanovite efforts in the early 60's. As I recall, SLT(?) was a "baby step", as there were only one or two logic elements a chip and about 5 chips/resistors on the ceramic plate, because IBM was too timid to really get into large silicon arrays to start with. The issue was reliability in the field, and IBM went very conservative. It had bet its future, on money borrowed from Prudential.
        >
        > You might like to know the date that IBM committed to it. It was Summer, 1960. On August ~13, Tom Watson had two lunches at 590 Madison Avenue. I was at the first lunch, along with 8 members of a sales and systems team that did the competitive systems analysis/bid that brought in IBM's biggest non-military computer order thus far. It was the IRS System now in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
        >
        > Mr. W. kept looking out the window, and down 13 stories to the street. He explained: "I'm having lunch in a while with a few executives of Texas Instruments. I'm afraid that I have some bad news for them."
        >
        > Four years later, I saw the smallest belt-driven production line in the world. It was about 3 inches wide, and it was turning out ceramic SLT modules, in a small (~300 X300) building at a new IBM site in Fishkill, NY.
        >
        > Mike.
        > ===========
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In ibmpension@yahoogroups.com, lastdino1 <no_reply@> wrote:
        > >
        > > My history only goes back to the mid 60's and from the fab perspective. I was involved in the development of the manufacturing hardware built to produce SLT modules. It was exciting and creative times where we had no limits on funds to engineer and fabricate this equipment. I didn't have an opportunity to look under the covers to see if the business was in financial issues .We were to busy working 12-14 hour days 7 days a week. There was no other company we knew of that was building similar technology and when the final product hit the market there was no one in competition. They were fun times and very profitable for me and my career. I'll believe part of what you say but like anything else now days it doesn't change my personal history. Life is Great
        > >
        > > --- In ibmpension@yahoogroups.com, thirtyyearibmer <no_reply@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Lastdino1, now let's not rewrite history, eh?
        > > >
        > > > When Tom Watson Jr. set out to build the S/360 The IBM was losing market share dramatically, they had an outdated product line and with the investment in the S/360 IBM came within weeks of missing payroll. They wow, of all things, "issued" stock to cover the bills until they could win in the market place. Your characterization of no competition is ridiculous and just the repetition of nonfactual information hoping it will be accepted as fact.
        > > >
        > > > Let's also be clear that Lou Gerstner took over at the beginning of one of the longest bull market runs that current history has seen and started at the end of one recession and left before the next one hit. I will give him credit for good timing and keeping the company together rather than splitting it up. Watson Sr. saw 9 recessions and the Great Depression. Jr. saw three recessions and the biggest investment that almost bankrupted the company with the S/360.
        > > >
        > > > Let's not confuse growth CEO's with those that are of the new mold - financial manipulators and extractors of wealth from the corporation and its employees.
        > > >
        > > > To see the growth numbers mapped to recessions and CEO's look here:
        > > >
        > > > IBM's Greatest CEO Ninety-Seven years of revenue growth
        > > >
        > > > http://www.mbiconcepts.com/2/post/2011/11/ibms-greatest-ceo-ninety-seven-years-of-revenue-growth.html
        > > >
        > > > To see when this financial manipulation started in the 80's and setting unrealistic corporate five year plans (100 billion corporation by 1990) setting us up for the quote unquote Gerstner rescue, look and read here:
        > > >
        > > > http://www.mbiconcepts.com/2/post/2012/02/the-columbo-question-are-we-operating-the-ibm-business-for-the-benefit-of-the-business.html
        > > >
        > > > Cheers
        > > >
        > > > Pete
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > --- In ibmpension@yahoogroups.com, lastdino1 <no_reply@> wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > I believe most forget that during the 60's ,70'and 80's IBM was king of the hill. They were number 1 with little or no competition. With that as their back drop they were extremely gracious to their employees. Remember the golden circles and the family days and the meetings under the big tent. Everyone flew business class and raises were 5-15% with even 3's getting some. Then there were trips for super performers with their wives included. How about them awards and dinner for two's. Then came the 90's and technology stifled and the competition grew by leaps and bounds. Then near disaster with Ackers leading the decline. After that it was slash and burn and trying to become number two. It's all history now and if it didn't turn there would be no IBM today.Then again maybe some of you would like that .
        > > > >
        > > > > Hey Life is Great
        > > > >
        > > > > --- In ibmpension@yahoogroups.com, "older_bassman" <older_bassman@> wrote:
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Actually the Watsons were not that far out as far as US business is concerned. It really is more of a generation thing. If you look back to the Waston era you will find many companies had a patriarchal tilt in regards to their employees. While the stockholder was considered important they also felt the best way to serve them was to have satisfied customers, a satisfied work force and to some extent a positive societal impact. While this could result in somewhat less for the stockholder the long term stability and viability of the business was considered more important than short term gains. The idea was essentially a loop of satisfied workers creating better products at a better quality/price. This resulted in more satisfied customers who bought more products. This resulted in more revenues for the business which resulted in better returns for the stockholder and back to satisfied workers ......
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Somewhere in the late 1960's this started to change in the business schools where the belief that only the return to the stockholder was important. This tended to maximize stockholder returns but also affected the long term stability and in a number of cases viability of companies. This was the beginning of the commoditization of a company's workforce.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Skipping to the late 70's or early 80's business schools and executive consultants decided that company executives needed to be aligned. The way to do this was stock options. By making the executives stockholders they would now be driven to maximize stockholder value. This made for even more instability and an even shorter term outlook on running the business. Now that executives were paid in stock it was in their best interest to maximize the day to day value as opposed to 5, 10 or 20 years down the road. After all they won't be around when things fall apart and will have already gotten their piece of the pie. This further shifted the employee down the road to being a "resource" to be used and discarded as we see today.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > If you look at IBM today and at an interview that Sam did a while back you will that the stockholder was number one on who to satisfy. Customers were 4th or 5t on the list as I recall. Employees weren't even on the list. This is maximizing stockholder value but has stagnated revenues and is slowly losing customers. As IBM essentially breaks promises to their employees and removes incentives to excel they end up with a poorer product. This causes customers to look elsewhere for products and services. The only way to make up earnings is to cut more which further erodes employee satisfaction and so on.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > What needs to be brought back is the balance that existed through much of the early 20th century. This would bring back a longer term perspective that has been lost.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > --- In ibmpension@yahoogroups.com, kady101@ wrote:
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > Yea.......well........
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > If companies were "once ethical" then there never would have been any unions, ever. So, I will have to respectfully disagree. (The Watsons were always outliers in US business in this regard, it should be said.)
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > Companies behave "ethically" when they have difficulties in finding competent workers. The ravaging of the IBM workforce through pay cuts and RAs in the period 2001-present has, IMO, nothing to do with "ethics" (or lack thereof), but all to do with the fact that they found a cheap workforce that they could electroncally link to overseas, followed by a deep domestic recession that left their domestic workforce (where the majority of the skills and experience still reside) trembling with terror that they might have to look for a job under those conditions, and thus willing to accept a high level of abuse.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > Asking a company to behave "ethically" implies that they maintain relationship to their workforce that is not in the best interests of shareholder payouts, since maintaining high employee morale costs $$$. Therefore, hoping for a return to "ethics" is really a hope that the company will act against the interests of its shareholders. That will only happen if the economic conditions are such that the cost of behaving "unethically" is greater than the cost of behaving ethnically; and those economic conditions currently do not exist, and it is doubtful they will exist in the near for foreseeable future (IMHO).
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > Kady
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > ----- Original Message -----
        > > > > > > From: teamb562
        > > > > > > Sent: 05/18/12 06:48 PM
        > > > > > > To: ibmpension@yahoogroups.com
        > > > > > > Subject: [IBM Pension] Re: This from the American Benefits Council (not our friend).
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > You missed my point and are half brainwashed, as is many Americans.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > What companies have conveniently forgotten is that have (and once had) an ethical responsibility to the communities they inhabit. A successful company will strive to be ethical in all aspects of their operations. Any company that is successful and "liked" in their communities will, by nature, enrich shareholders. Any company that is disliked and gains a bad reputation in the community is eventually doomed to failure. The greed model, the great social divide that companies have created has a shelf life and that clock is ticking.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > --- In ibmpension%40yahoogroups.com , "danmayerinetport" <dm47@> wrote:
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > Does the company have an ethical responsibility to the stockholder? The buyer of stock has a reasonable expectation of a return on their investment and the company has an obligation to try to provide that return. If management fails to fulfill that obligation, stockholders will vote for new management.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > If your personal investments were dependent on dividends to support your retirement, would you think it was ethical to screw the stockholder? Probably not. If it were in your control, you might sell that stock. If others also do so, the price will fall and the remaining stockholders would vote for new management.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > Management knows they have an obligation to and they're accountable to the stockholders.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > There is really no accountability to employees. Decisions affecting employees are driven by what it takes to meet business objectives. Cold? Yes. Calculating? Yes. Insensitive? Yes. Callous? Yes.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > It might be nice if the people running companies were warm and fuzzy, but I've never expected them to be that way, even if they sometimes acted like they were.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > --- In ibmpension%40yahoogroups.com , "teamb562" <teamb562@> wrote:
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > "The corporations are, in effect,holding a gun to the head of the government and saying "Change the rules or we'll fire people so we can keep paying dividends."
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > Wow, lotta truth in that sentence. I'd put that on a banner and carry it in a protest march if we ever get that far.
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > I watch/read a lot business news. I am constantly amazed at the arrogance and callous-ness of exec's and ceo's. It used to be they "danced" around the subject of productivity. Now, they are are just plain direct in talking about downsizing, layoffs and outsourcing like it's everyday business. For example, look at HP's announcement today. I agree they want the rules changed and claim they will not fire people. I firmly believe they will get the rules changed and will continued to fire people. Until some generation bring ethics back to the boardroom, labor is sadly screwed.
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        > > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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