Teamster Pension Funds Could Be Strengthened

June 6, 2005:It's no secret that United Parcel Service wants to pull all their employees out of Teamster pension funds. Like any corporation, they'd rather have unilateral control over their employees' pensions and convert them to 401(k) plans.

UPS took a step forward on that plan in May with the acquisition of Overnite. Now they have 10,000 less-than-truckload freight workers who are not in any Teamster plan, and they plan to grow that number as fast as they can.

Already outside our pension funds are at least half of UPS Teamster part timers. We can’t let this balance reach a tipping point: we need to bring Overnite workers into our funds now, and the rest of the part timers in 2008.

That’s why we have to organize UPS-Overnite, into our union and into our Teamster pension funds. Doing that would:

  • Bring 10,000 new Teamster participants into our pension funds;
  • Greatly improve pensions for Overnite workers and their families;
  • Provide strong protection against a UPS pull-out from the funds; and
  • Strengthen our funds by improving the ratio of active Teamsters to retirees.

UPS management is not to going to volunteer to pay better pensions to UPS-Overnite workers. Certainly they’re not going to be eager to strengthen our Teamster funds when management’s plan is to bust out of those funds.

UPS management has a three-point plan to undermine Teamster retirement security. Part one is a legislative attack. Part two is a campaign to soften up Teamsters with false promises of wonderful pensions from the company. Part three is taking advantage of the IBT failed leadership on pension issues.

The IBT needs a plan, too. A campaign to organize Overnite and bring those members into the Teamster benefit funds is a good place to start.

If UPS Ran Your Pension, You Would Lose $1,000 a Month!

$2,394 per month after 30 years of full time service: That is what UPS management would pay you for a pension, according to calculations performed by TDU. The calculation was based on UPS Senior Vice President John McDevitt’s testimony last year to Congress.

That’s about $1,000 per month less than Teamster plans provide.
What this means: If the same amount that UPS contributed into the Teamster pension plans since 1974 had gone into a 401(k) plan instead, and earned 7.5% a year, you would have an inferior pension today.

We calculated this figure by using the amount UPS paid into the pension fund each year since 1974 for a full timer who worked every day.

We used McDevitt’s own figure of 7.5% annual rate of return and UPS’ conversion formula from a lump sum to a monthly pension.
The calculations can be provided by TDU to interested members.

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