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Old 04-22-2015, 04:57 PM   #21
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I'll admit that the IBM approach of crediting the match only if you are there as of a certain date rubs me the wrong way. I think it should be done each pay period like many/most employers do.

That practice is especially appalling for employees who are contributing and then are laid off or fired... they should get the match on their year-to-date contributions since they did not leave voluntarily. I can see an argument for not crediting the match for those who leave voluntarily during the year, but if I were king I would take the match forfeited by employees who left voluntarily and distribute it to those who stay as a bonus match.
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Old 04-22-2015, 04:59 PM   #22
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^ I believe the year end match takes them out of the safe harbor so it makes them subject to ADP testing
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Old 04-22-2015, 05:10 PM   #23
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I tell our kids freedom is low overhead and high demand job skills, especially skills that can be done as a contractor or small business owner.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:07 PM   #24
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I think there's been significant wage growth for the top quintile of workers over the past few decades. So for these folks, even if they lost pensions and so forth, it may be easier to FIRE.

I suspect that the golden age of early retirement is actually right now. My guess is that there are more people FIREing early (say 30s / 40s) than ever before -- but I have no data to back this up.

ACA and guaranteed issue of healthcare is going to speed up this trend. ACA was much more important to me than a pension.
+1

I have quite a few friends in my age bracket (50ish) that are truly contemplating retiring soon because now they have a reasonable chance of getting affordable healthcare, where before many would not even think about it.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:09 PM   #25
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But look at the flipside:


We are moving to a "gig" labor market. To some extent more and more of the labor force are effectively contract workers for their employers. That means that you cannot expect to find a cushy job, tune out, and wait 30 years for the pension. But it also means there is no reason to stick around in a boring, abusive, or poorly paid position because you are stuck in the "pension trap." Keep that resume polished and shop yourself around regularly. It usually comes with a raise when you leap and you learn a lot more that way.
Yep., Seen that happen. And some management is dumbfounded. Others understand. You reap what you sow.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:15 PM   #26
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I was just discussing this with DW a few days ago, how lucky we are. The elder law attorney we dealt with on FIL's issues said I was a "financial dinosaur". Have a government DB COLA'd pension, SS benefits coming, decent savings. Not wealthy by any stretch but comfortable. The pension plan is near fully funded so (almost) no worries.

Even where I used to work they don't offer that plan any more and haven't since the mid 1980's (I started in 1973). They offered half of your previous retirement contributions back if you switched to the new plan. I didn't take the bait but a lot of guys did, buying boats, motorcycles, cars, etc. and they are sorry now. But the new plan is still lots better than what private industry offers.
For sure, Walt34! You are a dinosaur! Even my dad who started working in 1946 with an AFL-CIO union didn't have a COLA pension in 1997. Thank God he had a DB pension in his later years, despite the non-COLA. It was a godsend to us kids when he entered long term care. (Aside: the fact that the standard will be no pensions <COLA or otherwise> is going to really BITE HARD on kids in the next few decades when they look at parent care. MARK MY WORDS.)

A DB COLA is "wealthy" in many respects.

That said, I'm not jealous. In many senses, I'm free knowing that I'd never have that. Megacorp #1 made that clear in 1993. Megacorp #2 said "What is a pension? We don't know that word." With that in mind, I've saved, saved, saved. Once I get out of OMY hell, I'm free.

OK, all that said, now whtat I've written it down, maybe I am a bit jealous about a COLA DB.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:18 PM   #27
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You just have to look at Labor History of the US over the last 100 years to understand what is going on. The only reason that Corporations gave out Pensions and other Benefits to Workers was to Compete with Unions for Labor. Otherwise all workers would gravitate towards Union Jobs. Corporations did not give out Pensions, Vacations, Sick Pay, 40 hour weeks and all the other Benefits out of the 'Goodness of their hearts' but did so so that they could attract talent from the Union Labor roles.

Now that Unions have been mostly Busted in the U.S., Corporations are free to eliminate Pensions and Benefits under the guise that "We cannot compete with Cheap Labor of other Countries". When in reality U.S. Corps have never made more money than today and are actively off-shoring jobs at record numbers.

This will eventually change when U.S. workers are exploited to the point that they will have to re-fight the Labor Wars of the 1930s and 1940s all over again.

Until then the U.S. workers are at the Mercy of Corporations that are free to remove benefits and wages until workers finally end up protesting.

I am glad I am retired and do not have to participate in this. I thank my ancestors of the 1930s that fought hard for the meager benefits that I did have. No Pension, but at least I had good working conditions, 40 hour week, vacations, sick days, health insurance, overtime and 8 hour days.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:23 PM   #28
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Cut-Throat: maybe that's heading to politics. But I think you have a good point. On the surface, my politics disagree with you. (I'm not a union guy.) However, seeing how well my dad's Union treated him in his dying years, I'm grateful for that Union. I think you have very valid points. Many of us non-union people actually benefited from Unions. It kind of pains me to say it, but I think it has merit.

Meanwhile, I just wish my Dad had a COLA pension. But that's another matter. Not all Union pensions are the same.

Second meanwhlie: I'm OMY and glad I'm 1, 2 or 3 years from being done with this. There will be future labor wars in my business. The wages are dropping so fast it is scary.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:24 PM   #29
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Cut-Throat, are you having difficulties with your "shift" key?
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:32 PM   #30
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Cut-Throat: maybe that's heading to politics. But I think you have a good point. On the surface, my politics disagree with you. (I'm not a union guy.) However, seeing how well my dad's Union treated him in his dying years, I'm grateful for that Union. I think you have very valid points. Many of us non-union people actually benefited from Unions. It kind of pains me to say it, but I think it has merit.
I was never in a Union myself either, but I know I reaped benefits hard won by Unions. I look at the Labor Situation in the U.S. in the 1910s and 1920s when Children were working and there were no safety laws what-so-ever. These things were not overcome without a severe struggle. Things are definitely getting worse for Labor again in the U.S. and those Struggles will have to be re fought.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:40 PM   #31
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Cut-Throat, are you having difficulties with your "shift" key?
I didn't See a problem At All.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:12 PM   #32
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I was never in a Union myself either, but I know I reaped benefits hard won by Unions. I look at the Labor Situation in the U.S. in the 1910s and 1920s when Children were working and there were no safety laws what-so-ever. These things were not overcome without a severe struggle. Things are definitely getting worse for Labor again in the U.S. and those Struggles will have to be re fought.
My grandmother quit school in 6th grade in 1910 to work in the garment factory. She was making less than $0.10 per hour. I hear the stories!

These things come and go in waves. I suspect there will be another labor wave coming. But maybe not. As long as the youngsters I know can wear a visible tattoo, they don't care. Seems that looks and presence (and freedom of such) are more important that wages at this period of time.
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:18 PM   #33
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My grandmother quit school in 6th grade in 1910 to work in the garment factory. She was making less than $0.10 per hour. I hear the stories!
You're hearing the stories? Don't mind me asking, but just how old is she now?
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:43 PM   #34
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You're hearing the stories? Don't mind me asking, but just how old is she now?
In my family stories are passed down through the generations. I imagine it's the same for most families.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:22 PM   #35
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This. Save at least 15% of gross (hopefully more). And start early.
+1 My mantra to DS and his wife.

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Old 04-23-2015, 12:53 AM   #36
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You just have to look at Labor History of the US over the last 100 years to understand what is going on. The only reason that Corporations gave out Pensions and other Benefits to Workers was to Compete with Unions for Labor. Otherwise all workers would gravitate towards Union Jobs. Corporations did not give out Pensions, Vacations, Sick Pay, 40 hour weeks and all the other Benefits out of the 'Goodness of their hearts' but did so so that they could attract talent from the Union Labor roles.

Now that Unions have been mostly Busted in the U.S., Corporations are free to eliminate Pensions and Benefits under the guise that "We cannot compete with Cheap Labor of other Countries". When in reality U.S. Corps have never made more money than today and are actively off-shoring jobs at record numbers.
I think you nailed it with above.....I would like to add US Corps are crying we need to tighten our belts to remain competitive all the while their salaries and perks are going through the FRIGGEN roof.... I have seen my CEO's compensation triple over the last three years..... Have they no shame??
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:32 AM   #37
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............ Have they no shame??
With a few exceptions, like Warren Buffett, I'd say the answer is no.
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Old 04-23-2015, 01:34 PM   #38
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The company I have been with for 30+ years still offers a generous plan. This is a DC plan, no pension. It is a combo of profit sharing and an ESOP. We are heavily weighted toward the company stock plan though, we're employee owned not public. Our company has contributed the maximum allowable almost every year since I got here and with the two plans that is up to 25% or your gross. They even contributed money for a couple years when we had little or no profit. We contribute nothing out of pocket. Our founders (one still alive) have a strong belief that company profits should be used to grow the business and benefit the employees. They are uncommonly benevolent. It would have been very easy to pocket a ton of money and do some lousy 6% match. I find it funny though that we are quite a conservative company including the political leanings of the upper management. They detest the government being involved in business and are vehemently anti-union. Yet their actions are far more liberally leaning regarding actual treatment of employees. We work people like dogs (me included) but treat people like human beings. If every company took the pains to treat employees like we do a great deal of the social benefit problems would disappear.
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Old 04-23-2015, 01:40 PM   #39
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^ wow you should have a bundle in there by now - that's awesome
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Old 04-23-2015, 03:11 PM   #40
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The "good old days" of lifetime employment with MegaCorp, followed by a gold watch, pension, and retiree health insurance, or a steady-job-for-life in a union, were indeed good, for those who were able to attain either of those.

For those who were stuck on the outside looking in, things were much different. Someone very close to me was in such a situation, and it wasn't pretty. The worst thing was the lack of empowerment he felt without the support structure provided by MegaCorp or a union.

These days, empowerment comes not from being part of an organization, but rather from one's specialized knowledge and skill set, initiative, and ideas. Those who do not possess these characteristics are the ones left on the outside looking in.

So things have changed, and whether it's for the better or for the worse overall is arguable, and the answer is different for each individual.
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