Please contact the Union office if you have any suggestions or questions for this committee.  Thanks!

Jim Panei – President
Brian Cossitor – Vice-President
Dan Green- Financial Secreatary
Randy Werner – Mobile Mtc
Jeff Hammerschmidt – Silicon Mtc
Rick McPherson – Rate and Incentive Chair

Please contact the union office at 724-284-2248 to become involved with this UAW committee!

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Pennsylvania Health Care Costs Containment Council is an independent state agency charged with collecting, analyzing and reporting information that can be used to improve the quality and restrain the cost of health care in Pennsylvania.  Visit www.phc4.org for more information.

Get the Facts on Retirement Security

  • Only 16 percent of workers who aren’t in unions have pensions from their employers that pay out guaranteed amounts.
  • Administrative costs for Social Security are less than 1 cent per dollar paid out in benefits. This is much lower than the average administrative costs of 12 percent to 14 percent for private insurers.

Photo credit: Alliance for Retired Americans

 

Health Care Reform

What’s the Difference Between a Defined-Benefit and a Defined-Contribution Plan?

Employer-provided pensions are an essential part of retirement security. But fewer employers today provide pension benefits for their workers—and among those that do, many are offering “definedcontribution” rather than traditional “defined benefit” pension plans.

Most union-negotiated pension plans are definedbenefit pension plans, which for decades have guaranteed retirees a fixed monthly income. These definedbenefit plans are usually funded entirely by employers through tax-exempt contributions and automatically cover all qualified employees. Since 1980, the number of definedbenefit plans plummeted from  148,096 plans covering some 38 percent of private-sector workers to only  48,982 today . The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics finds 20 percent of workers in the private sector have definedbenefit pensions.  In the public sector, defined benefit plan coverage is four times greater—about 79 percent according to BLS.

Many companies have eliminated their defined-benefit plans and others have reduced the value of benefits and shifted to providing benefits through 401(k) savings plans or other defined-contribution plans. In these plans, the employer only contributes a fixed amount to the plan each year. Defined-contribution plans shift the investment risk and responsibility to individual workers and typically reduce corporate costs.

Union Workers Have a ‘Union Advantage’ in Pensions

Because they have a voice at work, union workers have a “union advantage” in benefitsand are much more likely to have pensions—and good pensions—than nonunion workers.  Eighty-two percent of private sector union workers are covered by pension plans, compared with 48 percent of nonunion workers. And  66 percent of union workers have defined-benefit retirement coverage, compared with 15 percent of nonunion workers.

Your employer and in some cases your union can provide details about your own pension plan, but many online resources can help you keep an eye on your future retirement security.

UNION WORKERS ARE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE
HEALTH AND PENSION BENEFITS, 2005

UNION WORKERS ARE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE<BR>HEALTH AND PENSION BENEFITS, 2005 

Note: Defined-benefit pensions are a subset of all pensions. Disability refers to short-term disability benefits.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in Private Industry in the United States, 2009 (Private Industry Workers, Tables 2, 9 and 16).
More Resources
  • Employee Benefits Security Administration
    This is the motherlode of pension and 401(k) information from the federal agency charged with protecting them. Find outwhat you should know about your pension rights, information for displaced workers and much more. Also check out PWBA’s explanation of 401(k) plan fees.
  • Ad Hoc Coalition to Restore Retirement Security
    Created by pension activists in 1996, the Coalition for Retirement Security is a volunteer, national grassroots organization that works to correct pension and health care inequities while educating workers about the importance of pensions and health care plans to retirees. The organization is particularly concerned about “cash balance conversion plans”—the changes in defined-benefit pension plans that can result in significantly lower pension benefit amounts for mid-life workers.
  • Pension Rights Center
    The Pension Rights Center identifies inequities in America’s pension systems, proposes reforms and helps employees and retirees understand and enforce their legal rights. The site answers basic questions about pension rights, has many useful addresses and telephone numbers and directs workers in certain geographical areas to projects that can help with their pension problems.
  • BenefitsLink
    This is a site tilted toward benefits professionals, but it includes good information for participants as well. It provides information and tools about employee benefit plans sponsored by private and government employers and links to other sites of use to anyone planning to retire.
  • Women and Pensions
    Women face greater retirement challenges than men because their lifetime earnings tend to be lower, they change jobs more and are more likely to work in industries with little or no pension coverage.  WISER Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement covers all the bases for women.
  • National Conference on Public Employment Retirement Systems (NCPERS)
    The National Conference on Public Employment Retirement Systems (NCPERS) is the largest trade association for public-sector pension funds, representing more than 500 public funds throughout the United States.