We know that one of the biggest things we need to consider as we organize to become Teamsters is what our retirement will look like. When we are Teamsters at US Airways, we will all decide what works best for us in terms of the particular type of pension plan that is right for our group. As Teamsters, we will have pension analysts and experts who can help us decide what pension program will work best for us and our families.
In the meantime, it’s important to understand what is available to us and what is included in the various retirement options we will have to choose from as Teamsters.
The Basics We Need To Know:
Once we are vested, we are vested. After we have worked enough years to meet the vesting requirements under a defined benefit pension plan, we are eligible to receive a pension check when we retire. If we are vested in more than one pension, we will receive a pension check from each one once we retire. If we choose to change pension plans and we are vested, our pension check will reflect the amount we are eligible for based on the plan description and years of service.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT ONCE VESTED IN THE IAM PLAN, THE IAM CANNOT TAKE PAST CREDIT AWAY – EVEN IF WE CHANGE UNIONS.
As Teamsters, we will decide what we want our retirement benefit to look like. As part of our bargaining process, we will study our retirement benefit options and determine as a group what makes the most sense.
Once we determine our preferred retirement benefit, we must then reach an agreement with the company at the bargaining table.
With hundreds of Teamster pension plans and other retirement benefits available, we can rest assured that whatever we choose to do as a group, we will have multiple strong options to bring to the bargaining table.
As Teamsters, we will have the collective power at the bargaining table to create enough leverage to forge our path to retirement security.
Teamster Retirement Benefit Options For Us To Consider:
The Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Plan is an example of a strong multi-employer plan provided by the Teamsters. With the WCT, the Teamsters Union provides the largest multi-employer pension plan in the country. It includes more than 230,000 participants covered through agreements negotiated by Teamster locals with about 5,200 employers in 13 states. All contributions for coverage are made by the employer and benefits increase the longer a participate remains in covered employment. The Frontier Airline mechanics negotiated this option.
A single-employer plan is available to participants from only one employer, while the multi-employer plan has participants from multiple employers. Both plan types are pensions, which are investment funds that provide regular payments to former workers in retirement. A good example of a single-employer plan is CARP, the Continental Airlines pension.
The Teamsters 401K savings plan is an example of Teamsters using their combined buying power to negotiate valuable programs and services for members. Under the laws governing 401K plans, before a member can join, an employer must agree to participate. The plan’s trustees – one-half from the union and one-half from participating employers – monitor and direct the services provided by this plan. Many Teamster contracts include this option and it is generally considered as a supplement to another retirement plan.
One example of a Teamsters defined contribution plan is the one that the Teamsters have negotiated with UPS on behalf of the UPS AMTs. Under this plan, the Company puts 13% of employees' gross weekly income up to 45 hours per week into individual accounts run by Fidelity Investment. Additionally, UPS pays employees a 100% match to their 401K accounts on the first three percent of pretax money saved by the employee.
We all know the IAM will spin all kinds of stories about US Airways mechanics’ retirement issues, such as overemphasizing weak plans and alleging that our dues will go into Teamster pension funds, which they do not.
Here is the plain truth: as a group, we will decide on our own retirement plan.