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UE-GE National Negotiations 2000

The GE Pension Plan:
Giving Us the Business

The purpose of any private pension plan is to insure a decent and secure standard of living for those who put their working lives into a company. For GE workers that ought to be an easily attainable goal. After all, the GE Pension Fund now stands at an Everest-like height of about $50 Billion dollars.

But even more importantly, the fund now contains twice as much as is needed to pay for all present and future pension obligations!

Nevertheless, a typical 30 year GE worker now stands to retire on a basic pension (excluding supplements) of only about $1,000 a month. Many will do worse.

   

 So What's the Problem? 

   
       
       

The main problem is that for GE, our Pension Plan has become a very profitable business, and naturally the Company wants to keep it that way. What kind of business is it?

  • Its a business that in the last 3 years took in over $16 Billion more in income than it paid out in benefits. By itself, the Pension Fund is bigger than USX, DuPont, Emerson, Rockwell and Boeing to name a few.

  • Its a business that last year alone, because of accounting rules favorable to overfunded pension plans, provided GE with $1.38 Billion on its corporate balance sheet as pre-tax profit to the delight of Company executives and Wall Street.

  • Its a business that GE hasnt contributed one penny to since 1987, but that still requires GE employees to contribute, last year to the tune of $122 Million in aggregate.

  • Its a business that is legally allowed to discriminate. While Jack Welch stands to get a pension of about $8 Million a year, GE retirees have no COLA, and despite the recent increase are fighting a losing battle against inflation.

  • Its a business that is in theory owned by its "customers", GE employees and retirees, but in fact is controlled by GE top management which increasingly uses it for their own purposes.

   

 It's Time to End Business As Usual 

   
       
       

Its high time we get back to basics with our pension plan, and once again start using it the way it was intended, solely for the benefit of GE workers and retirees. Lets stand up for:

  • SUBSTANTIAL PENSION BENEFIT INCREASES

  • EARLIER RETIREMENT OPPORTUNITIES WITH NO REDUCTION

  • AN END TO EMPLOYEE PENSION CONTRIBUTIONS

  • PENSION COLA FOR PAST AND FUTURE RETIREES

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