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I missed this sickening Supreme Court decision. More open season on older Americans

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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:55 AM
Original message
I missed this sickening Supreme Court decision. More open season on older Americans
You simply will not believe the details of this story and decision.



http://www.aarp.org/work/employee-rights/info-05-2010/s...

Supreme Challenge to Pension Payouts
The High Court sides with companies over workers and retirees.

by: Holly Yeager | from: AARP Bulletin | May 3, 2010

skip

. . . After months of pleading for more information, Frommert learned that the $2,482 a month he had been expecting dwindled to $5.31 under a formula the administrator of Xeroxs pension plan was using.

skip
Deference to plan administrators

Frommert and some 100 others who face a similar problem with their Xerox pensions found no relief at the U.S. Supreme Court. In an April 21 ruling, the high court rejected a lower courts decision to throw out the plan administrators calculation and boost the pension payments.

Instead, in a 5-3 opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and backed by the courts conservatives, the Supreme Court said judges should defer to the decisions made by plan administrators even if an administrator has made a mistake in interpreting the plan. While the ruling doesnt finally settle exactly how much Xerox will pay the retirees, the plaintiffs lawyers arent optimistic.

The decisions impact reaches far beyond Frommerts situation, to millions of U.S. workers who might someday face a dispute concerning health, pension or disability benefits. Advocates for workers and retirees say this area of law already favors companies and their plans, and the decision in Conkright v. Frommert case makes it even more difficult for employees to prevail.




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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
1. Too many of these pension plans have been allowed
To turn into scams.

Legal scams.

We really were a great nation -- now -- not so much.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
51. Yup. Now, not so much. nt
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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:14 AM
Response to Original message
2. The new SCOTUS
deferring to corporate decisions over citizens.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
42. This pattern is a wake up call! Congress? They are basically calling for IMPEACHMENT!
Certainly Roberts and Alito are revealing that they lied about what kind of rulings they would do to counteract existing law.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. OOOH!! I like your idea a LOT, cascadiance. A whole lot!!
Think we could get the Administration to get behind that one? Or the Democratic leadership?

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #42
47. I could go for that! nt
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AnotherDreamWeaver Donating Member (917 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 01:11 AM
Response to Reply #42
57. I thought they should have been impeached for stopping the vote count
and giving the deserter the pResidency.....
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #57
64. Precisely. That was, in brute naked form, a coup d'etat. And we ALL took it like dogs.
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DrDan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:20 AM
Response to Original message
3. corporate pandering will be the norm for years to come under this court.
Edited on Wed Jun-30-10 07:21 AM by DrDan
To ignore what is fair and moral and turn all decisions regarding pension disputes over to plan administrators as the final arbitrator is simply wrong . . .

junior's impact on SCOTUS will haunt us for generations. Unfortunately it will haunt those who truly need justice the most.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:27 AM
Response to Original message
4. One reason I favor 401K. The money is mine and it is in my name.
Edited on Wed Jun-30-10 08:11 AM by Statistical
Not so with pension or social security.

Many on DU associate 401K = wall street casino and no stable retirement.

While that is potentially true it doesn't have to be. A 401K is simply a bucket. You can put anything in that bucket. When you change jobs you can even rollover that bucket into an IRA bucket with even more options/control.

Some people then say but a pension/SS gives a guaranteed income for life. There is no reason why a 401K via an annuity. I wouldn't recommend annuities because one can generally get a higher return by a diversified portfolio but if someone likes the idea of a pension type system (fixed monthly payments for life & indexed w/ inflation) you can roll over some or all of 401K balance into an annuity at retirement.

Even month you get a check and the check keeps coming until you die (can even purchase an annuity that pays until both you & spouse died for not much more).
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Exactly right
Everything else can be Mickey Moused around with. Also, my attitude about the company 'match' is that if I get it, it's a nice little extra return on investment. Another real return on investment is state income taxes not having to be paid on the 401K contribution, and I will withdraw it when I'm back in Washington State, where there is no state income tax.
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 04:57 AM
Response to Reply #6
59. 401ks are a risky investment. Do you know where your money is invested?
How much do you pay in excess fees for the administration of your 401? Do you carefully monitor each statement to ensure your 401 is not invested in things like BP, Enron, Lehman Brothers, and AIG?

Most Americans do not monitor their 401 statements because they are written to confuse. The more confused you are, the less likely you are to watch out where your money is being funneled. Most people can't even tell you how much they are paying in fees. That's because fees are easily hidden.

Over the last year Americans have lost over $17 Trillion in wealth and a lot of that was in their 401k plans. Between 1999 and 2002, Fidelitys (one of the largest 401k managers and administrators) two key stockholders saw their net worth increase by more than $1 billion, while Fidelitys equity funds lost 37% of their net worth for investors. Those equity funds were your 401s.

http://wallstreetwarzone.com/corporate-americas-401k-pl...
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #59
70. All mine is in money market funds
I have a little side 'gambling' money that I sometimes buy individual stock with, in my Sharebuilder account, but it's less money total than I toss each month from my paycheck into my 401K.

And I have an old 401K from a former employer with a couple thousand in it with Fidelity, but as that's always been in either money market or bond funds, I didn't lose anything there, either. In any case, my former employer is turning it all over to J. P. Morgan this month, anyhow. As soon as my employer match vests, I'm outta there.
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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. My IBM pension is an annuity. The problem is that most large companies that had defined benefits
turned the administration of their plans over to a third-party. Fidelity is now the administrator of the IBM plan. So there is no one in IBM to complain to about the pension nor to answer any questions.
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northernlights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #8
40. ah, Fidelity
the asswholes who's VP had a laptop "stolen" from her rental car in the parking lot of HP in Palo Alto. Where the police assured everybody it was a "random theft." With all our private information on it, supposedly protected by encryption. A few months later, after said VP's husband -- and a former colleague of mine -- contacts me out of the blue for freelance work. Gets my current address and phone in the process, along with my work and education history. And within a couple days, 10 miles from their house in Mass, my credit card was hijacked from a car dealership where I've never set foot. I'm on my 3rd year of free credit monitoring. Not that that will get my identity back. :grr: :grr: :grr:

It's not enough that Fidelity will help them steal our pensions. They steal identities for profit too. :grr: :grr: :grr:
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
15. Yes, I favor 401Ks as well, for the reasons you mentioned n/t
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gorfle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #4
16. The problem is that 401K is a giant GAMBLE.
The problem with the whole 401K thing is that it is a giant gamble.

The whole thing is predicated on the idea that hopefully, after a lifetime of work, your money will have gained value and you will have enough money to retire on.

There is no guarantee that this will actually happen!

It ought to be, after a lifetime of work, that there is some guaranteed income that you can at least survive on.

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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. One can always take less risk. 401K =/= stock market.
Edited on Wed Jun-30-10 11:08 AM by Statistical
Invest in bond fund, invest in treasuries, leave some percentage as cash. You will accept lower rate of return but will have less volatility and potential for losses. Also there is no 20 year period where stock market didn't have a positive return so some equity exposure for any worker >20 years from retirement is not that risky.

So one could say you do have a guaranteed income just some uncertainty on what that guaranteed income will be.

I do agree most workers are taking (likely without knowing it) too much risk. A lot of things could be done to improve 401K program:
a) required education/advisement by 3rd party on company time paid for by employer once per year.
b) requirement that all non-pension employees receive 5% match from employer
c) regulation on limits of max risk employees can take (age adjusted - portfolios must become more conservative as age increases)
d) regulation on max fees on 401K options
e) requirement that ALL 401K plans have at a minimum 1 T-bond fund and 1 investment grade corp bond fund.

eduction/advisement is important. The adviser should be a fee based (not commission based, not worker for employer, not working for 401k manager). It doesn't need to take a long time but more like a 1 hour meeting. Showing goal, progress so far, level of risk, and projections on retirement.

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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #4
24. Less money and no pension
Yeah, that 401K was a brilliant strategy for the worker. And if the banks fail a year before you're set to retire, well too bad for you.

I prefer social security and a pension that is guarded by the courts, instead of everything that people save for being taken by one giant Wall Street scam after another.
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #24
41. Agreed - when the little guy has that much money on the table,
the big guy will sweep it off from time to time.

I remember when the market was crashing in the fall of '08, everyone was saying 'Don't sell, don't sell!' But someone was sure selling, because half my life savings disappeared.

I have a feeling that the experts who were telling us not to sell were the ones who were selling.

What a fucking joke. I now have my money in a credit union, which are veru conservatively run. The return is next to nothing, but at least the money will be there for me.

I have no stomach for the stock market anymore.
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #24
52. +1 nt
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Shireling Donating Member (222 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #4
31. The problem I have with 401Ks
is that you really don't know what companies you are supporting. (At least not the 401Ks I've seen in the workplace.) You could be supporting companies that do terrible things like BP and not even know it.

But if employees were given a list of the companies and could do a lot of research, that would be different.

I'm not an investor, so I know little about this. But that is what 401Ks look like to me.

:dilemma:
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #31
37. The 401K at dh's new job...
gives the employee far more control over where the funds go and who is getting the money, which is a good thing IMO.

But what you're saying makes complete sense--that's always a concern, but I wonder just how many people still invest w/a conscience?
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #4
34. A bucket that has a significant leak in it... It's called inflation
Right now, liquidity is the rule of the day, and having cash in hand is most important, not some notional amount held in a coumputer somewhere being de-valued daily.

I cashed out my 401K years ago, got dinged the 20%, and promptly used the capital to build a better life, retire before 50, and get back the most important thing we posess -- Time! Time to think, thime to sleep on purchases, time to do Due Diligence thoroughly and effectively, and most of all, pay attention to the millions of canaries that warn us daily of the impending failure of the Ponzi scheme.

By the way, I thought there were called 201K's now, simply because they lost 50% of their value when the Market crashed a few years ago.

Ask yourself why bread costs $4.50 a loaf, when it doesn't even use yeast anymore, and they have formulated it so they don't need leavening ovens anymore? It's all done in a big vat, using designer chemicals to lock bubbles in place instead of using natural yeasts to create CO2 which basically pre-metabolised our breads for us in the past, when bread was healthy.

I think the Dough Conditioners and turning most Americans brains into a doughy mass of non thinking fat.

When inflation really hits with a vengeance, you'll look at your 401K like a ball and chain you can't escape from.

I handle my 401k, have complete unfettered access to it at all times and am able to invest it as I see fit, and believe me, there are some amazing bargains right now, as all the people with so called 401K lose their homes to crushing mortgages. No Liquidity whatsoever, and drowing with a leaky life preserver.



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SharonAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #4
39. The employer can limit your options in the 401-K. You can only invest in what they permit.
Good employers provide a variety of good options. Others provide only a few high-fee plans and they split the fees with the financial services company managing the 401-K.


However, it can still be better than relying on a pension "someday".

Best is an IRA where you can choose exactly what you want to invest in.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #4
48. And the 10% of people who know what the fuck you are talking about
may well agree with you.

But 90% out here don't know what an annuity is, or how to diversify their portfolio - and nobody should have to be a finance manager to have a safe retirement. That was the whole idea behind pensions - so working men and women whose skills are in their muscles and their hands rather than their intellect could have a safe, simple retirement fund, managed by people who are enjoined by law from enriching themselves at the expense of the pension holders.

Pensions would be perfectly safe if a few more white-collar pension looters wound up in jail.
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Dawson Leery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #4
54. For those who don't care for 401K,s consider and IRA.
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ProudDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #4
55. Those 401Ks really worked great for Enron
There's NOTHING wrong with a defined benefit plan...

Except for the crooks who are holding on to your money...

Just like the crooks who are playing roulette with your 401K...
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Sherman A1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 04:24 AM
Response to Reply #4
58. I favor all three and am lucky to have them all
Although the 401 & the pension plan are having their issues of late to be sure.

I believe that all workers should have three legs on the stool for retirement

There should be a government SS program for ALL

There should be a defined benefit program and I think that the corporations have used the arrival of 401k to simply dump the responsibility onto their workers

There should also be 401k program (I think the current one needs some changes) that mandates participation at at least 5% for every worker (employer contributions not so much, as I believe they should provide a defined benefit program). This should be something that you do on your own and carry with you when you leave.


Then of course IRA's and personal savings are always a good idea, but when you are young they are hard to accomplish.
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ParkieDem Donating Member (417 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #4
69. I agree.
I know lost of people here on DU think we need to bring back defined-benefit pensions in force, but they're just antiquated and, in some cases, no more than ponzi schemes. Many are dependent on an ever-growing company, industry and work force, which isn't going to happen in today's dynamic economy. Plus, most of them require workers to stay in one job for a long time, and don't give the worker hardly any control over where the money goes. Not to mention that, since so many companies were looking to the federal government to bail them out, there are onerous tax regulations that make defined-benefit pensions even less attractive.

Defined-contribution plans, or at the very least cash-balance pensions, are the way to go.
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cornermouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:27 AM
Response to Original message
5. They might as well start building the soylent green centers now.
$5.31 to live on? Are they kidding?
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
23. Have you noticed that
tactic of divide and conquer being used as young vs. old. Or more specifically...it's good to hate the Boomers.

MSM seems to be starting the drumming of that tune. I do think that the next generations aren't going to have it as good as the Boomers, but that is because of TPTB/Build-a-Burgers/Trilateral Commission/etc.
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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
7. The biggest problem I have
with this article is describing this Roberts character as a "Justice". I would think the words "Shill", "Toady", and "Lickspittle" would be more in keeping with every one of his written opinions. It also sets expectations at the correct level. If you constantly address him as "Chief Wanker Roberts", you'll have no expectation of justice from him.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
9. The High Court sides with companies over workers and retirees. What a shocking surprise.
:eyes:
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:13 AM
Response to Original message
10. How does that make any sense at all?
:wtf:
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MiniMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:26 AM
Response to Original message
11. Who was the 5th justice?
A 5-3 decision means 1 recused themself. Which 5 sided with IBM?
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. My guess without even looking is the 5th was Kennedy. n/t
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. Kennedy was the 5th
and Sotomayor recused herself.
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MiniMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #13
20. Figures, the usual suspects.
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #11
62. This case was about Xerox, not IBM...
...just to be clear.
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Karmadillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
14. Our White House & Congress are controlled by Dems. Can't they can work to pass legislation to undo
this decision?
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Kermitt Gribble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #14
32. Yeah, like they're rushing to undo the Citizens United ruling.
This is all by design.
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ProudDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #14
56. The W.H. and congresscritters
are owned lock, stock and barrel by the same corporate crooks...
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
18. But, of course, we need to dismantle the social safety net and privatize all retirement benefits.
Enjoy your cat food, everyone! :sarcasm:
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #18
65. Once privatized, there will be no benefits. Period.
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lsewpershad Donating Member (964 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
19. America
is becoming a more depressing place daily.
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indepat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
21. The felonious five now aiding and abetting corporate rape and pillage on
a scale here-before unknown to man: that the felonious ones need be removed from office through an impeachment process should be as obvious and crucial as it is obvious and crucial that the sun rises in the east tomorrow. :P
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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
22. Holy shit!
:wow:
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
25. I just finished reading the entire
article. Roberts is one evil non-species entity. If he keeps making decisions like this to people who are old and filing bankruptcy, he's gonna have blood on his hands.

Maybe all of these big corporations laid off people and gave them severance packages so to be able to rehire them and screw them on their pension plans???

All I gotta say, Never trust a corporation. NEVER. They're vile.

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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #25
30. Around here, the severance packages were from the State government
Under Jeb Bush when he was trying to downsize state government. The way the packages were presented and the pressure the employees were under to accept them was just as evil as when corporations do it.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #25
53. "All I gotta say, Never trust a corporation."
And never trust a justice appointed by the Republican president.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #53
63. Souter didn't
turn out too bad. He was sick about the 2000 election. But he was but a glitch in the repugnant machine of buying judges.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #63
68. Yes,
he is considered a mistake by the GOP. But he is the exception in recent times. And listen to them squeal about Obama's nominees. 'Liberal' is essentially illegal in their minds. We must correct this.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #68
71. Liberal is a
good thing...Jesus was a Liberal. I saw that on a bumper sticker.

Being backward, oppressive, and selfish = Conservative.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #71
72. Without liberal thought
there would have been no American independence revolution. And Jesus was a liberal. No denying that. We can't expect these dolts to understand this, however.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-03-10 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #53
73. Yes yes yes
on both counts!

Souter was definitely an anomaly.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
26. So Frommert accepted a lump sum, but expected the same retirement?
Somehow this makes no sense to me:

When he was laid off in 1985, Frommert received a years severance pay and a lump-sum payout from his pension account of $145,000, which he used to pay off his house. Four years later, when he was rehired, he says, he was told it was with the same benefits he had beforethe same employee number, the same amount of vacationkind of like Id never left, he says.

But the formula used later to calculate his benefitsthe one he was alerted to with that little slip of paperused whats known as a phantom account. With that method, the plan administrator took the amount of Frommerts payout when he first left the company, added the theoretical interest that money would have earned had it remained invested in his account, and then subtracted both from the pension benefits he earned during his second stint with Xerox.


I don't want to blame the victim, but he got the benefit of that $145,000 - by paying off his house and living mortgage free for years. Certainly, he was mislead by the statements from his pension fund, but did he make any effort to save for retirement by socking away at least part of those mortgage payments he no longer had to make? It sounds as though once he was retired, he relied completely on the expected pension amount plus whatever he had in his 401k.

With 401ks and other investments getting socked by the drop in the stock market, he may have been fully prepared for retirement five years ago and still ended up in a hole now, even if the pension had paid out as expected. But I think it was unrealistic for him to expect to get the same pension even after he was handed a big wad of cash.

And yes, lump sum settlements are pretty much a scam. People who are offered them need to get advice on how this will work in their favor. Much of the time it does not, but people see that big wad of cash and greed takes over. I've known several people who took the lump sum and out of that half dozen or so, only one has come out ahead. And she was ready to retire anyway, had a pension from her deceased husband, other investments, Social Security, and a 401k. She took over a month to examine all the pros and cons before she accepted the lump sum. All the others thought about it overnight and took the money. Most ended up having to find jobs to supplement their income.

I would favor a law that says that if the pension plan gives incorrect information and does not give adequate notice of this kind of thing at least x number of years before retirement, they must pay the amount that they have been notifying the worker would be paid.
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K Gardner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Thanks for reading further into this particular case. Good analysis.
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. I don't understand your point?
most people's biggest expense is housing. If he paid off his house, a couple of grand a month would have been a good amt to frugally live on.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. Frommert paid off his house with his severance pay in 1985
When he was laid off. So what did he do with the money that would have gone to his house payment for all those years?

The real problem is that he was told he would have a couple of grand a month from his pension and ended up with $5. That the Supreme Court upheld that lying to employees like that was OK is horrible. But that Frommert is now blaming all his current financial problems on Xerox is not completely realistic. He had from 1996 until his retirement in 2002 to figure out what to do.

Here is a realistic possibility - the article mentions his wife had a double mastectomy. Maybe all his savings went for her medical care because even if she had health coverage, that would have still cost them a lot of money out of pocket.
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #33
46. I see, thanks.
the medical angle makes a lot of sense and there is a good possibility that is what happened.
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 05:49 AM
Response to Reply #33
60. The point is not Frommert's individual circumstance. The point is the decision itself
That pension plan administrators were the court of last resort, even when they are clearly wrong or misinterpreting or misapplying the guideline of the plans they are administering!

The AARP article also points out that many plan administrators are employees themselves of the firm that stands to gain if pension pay or benefit payouts are diminished. While Xerox was willing to fight off the employees all the way to the Supreme Court, other companies will no longer be so inconvenienced.

In a world where insurance companies pay bonuses to employees who deny health benefits, who finds it hard to believe that a benefits administration department in the future will earn bonuses for NOT paying out? And now, thanks to the Supreme Court, there is no relief in the courts. Think about that. Every employee in the world has now been told that the answer they get from their benefits department, EVEN WHEN IT IS WRONG, is the end of the road. Employees have been denied access to the courts for redress!! How sick is that?
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
28. i think a lot of people who supported reagan's brave new world are going to rue the day.
they thought they'd be the winners & it turns out they were the marks.
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1776Forever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
35. GOP Boehner et al want us to go to a "private" retirement program so they can steal it too?
Edited on Wed Jun-30-10 07:57 PM by 1776Forever
This is pitiful! To H with Bush and Roberts and the Dems for letting Roberts in! I hope Sotomayor
and Kagan will be better judges for all the people!
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
36. the little people COULD tell Xerox what they think - but does Xerox make
anything these days for little people.

Don't they just sell to large corporations these days?

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JustAnotherGen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
38. This may sound horrible
But I'm so happy my uncle died of a sudden stroke, Thanksgiving 1996. He actually had a conference/meeting room dedicated to him posthumously at Xerox. He was THE TQM guy at Xerox. . . the one that brought it to fruition. Right now had he lived? Uncle Doug would be 76 and penniless. At least when he passed the stock was worth something and his children/my aunt (she passed away 2 years later) were able to benefit from his many years of hard work.

How sad and sick that this is Xerox. When I was a kid growing up in the 70's and 80's in Ra-cha-cha? I always had 7 or 8 friends that had parents that worked at either: Xerox, Kodak, or Bausch and Lomb. No wonder we have all left in drove the past 6 or 7 years.

And how demeaning to all those people that got up and worked on a line, commuting to Webster in Lake Effect Snow, to put in a hard days work - to have nothing now. :-(
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
43. They aren't activist judges, more simply, they are corporate tools. nt
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colsohlibgal Donating Member (670 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
45. Nice
Who can't get by on $5.31 a month? Just don't get sick, don't get hungry, cold or hot and get used to living outside. Wow. Another let them eat cake moment.
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TransitJohn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:36 AM
Response to Original message
49. Real pensions will be disappeared within 20 years anyway.
It's all gonna be 401k bullshit run through the corrupt Wall Street casinos, anyway.
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #49
61. But the 401Ks will still be overseen by your plan administrator
And they're subject to the same screw-ups as a pension. I stopped contributing to a 401K in a small company once because the owner/administrator was clearly not making the company matches in a timely fashion and the whole thing was just making me very uncomfortable. I pulled the whole thing and put it into an IRA CD and I'm glad I did. Previously, if he had in fact been screwing me, I could have sued him. Now I just have to take his word for it that no, everything's fine.

If I were in a 401K right now, given this decision, I would pull it out on an annual basis and roll it over.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:39 AM
Response to Original message
50. The Robert's court.
Ugly, criminal and the result of greedy corporate influence.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
66. And the US is trying to force this thievery and slavery on the EU.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
67. They are preparing the ground for mass pension theft
The public employee unions are next. God help us all.
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