Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Why It's Time to Retire the 401(k)

By Stephen Gandel

Retiree Robert Shively spends his days on the golf course. For many, that would be a dream come true, but not quite in the way Shively does it. The 68-year-old is the cart mechanic at the Niagara Falls Country Club.

Two and a half decades ago, his then employer, Occidental Petroleum Corp., cut its traditional defined pension plan in favor of a 401(k)-type system. So instead of getting a guaranteed pension check of $1,308 a month for his 36 years as a full-time, salaried employee, the former chemical-factory worker receives $225 a month from his 13 years as an hourly employee, plus $180.16 a month from a profit-sharing plan Oxy had for salaried employees until 1994. He also has $70,000 left of the money he saved from his tax-deferred 401(k). On the days he works, Shively rises at 5 a.m. to get to the golf course. He mostly enjoys the job. But on tournament mornings, he has to be at the course at 4 a.m. A few years ago the country club switched from gas to electric carts, some of which have four 84-lb. batteries each. Every year, Shively and another worker have to lift out all the batteries and store them for winter. "Your body aches all over," he says.

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Anonymous said...

Leave it to the rightwing republicans to come up with such a shitty deal.

frankiez said...

Mr. Shively's situation,unfortunately,is not unique.Remember the old saying,"The rich get richer and the poor get...."?It's true.Every injustice you experience that takes away income and/or benefits from you enhances(Fred Smith-to name just one)some fat cats bottom line or wallet.
Personally,I've been voicing my opinion about the mediocre performance/selections available in the 401k plan for years.Another old saying:"Security is guaranteed poverty."That's true.If you count on your 401k to support you in retirement you will be rudely awakened when you retire.
Like Mr. Shively you will have to get something to,"augment",your retirement.Put another way,you will not have enough retirement income to survive on.
The solution? A teamster's contract.It will insure that income/benefits cannot be arbitrarily,"adjusted",or removed at will(hate to pick on him but Fred Smith practices these quite well).
Retirement income will be 5or 6 times what Fedex will provide.Merely attend a meeting conducted by the Teamsters to verify this.
The rest is up to you>
Frank Zunt
& Identified

Anonymous said...

once again drivers turning wht are waiting for mtys and after 30 mins it is not paid, that's your problem not fedx as we have been hearing, a few drivers have said waits of 45 min to an hour 15 are not unheard of. some one should start a class action law suit asap and get their just pay. until you fight for your right to be treated FAIR and not Ripped off by Greed it won't happen. It's your only hope to make it happen or then again you can continue to make those Turns for free and THANKS, Happy New Year too.

Paul Reibson said...

401k is yesterday's news and useless as a reliable income. Western Conference Teamster Pension is what Fedexers should shoot for.

Anonymous said...

We need a bulletin board where we can talk to each other about organizing this company!

irudedog said...

this website is for all to communicate the importance of organizing

Anonymous said...

You have got to be kidding, get rid of the 401K? Even though I'm only getting a 25% match on my money it is 25%. Anyone know of a place were you can invest your money and have a gaurentee of a 25% return on investment. Come on, think about it.....and yes, I'm hopefull that the 50% will come back this year. I bank on my own 401K long before I count on any type of pension program!!!! If you invest fully into your 401K as soon as you are elgible and don't play around with it (like taking out a loan) you will be far better off then any pension program FedEx or the Teamsters could ever offer.