Thanks to careful management, increased company contributions and favorable investments, our pension is out of the red zone and is currently on track to be fully funded. That’s great news for active and retired workers, but as long-time members know, we can never take our benefits for granted.
Local 804 UPS workers have some of the best pension benefits of any workers in the U.S. Sadly, the gap between UPS members and other workers’ pensions widens every year.
Proceed With Caution
Multiple union pension funds face insolvency and have been forced to cut pension benefits, even for current retirees. Local 804 pension trustees are carefully monitoring our plan to ensure that it stays on track to reach full rehabilitation. The top priority is to preserve “25 and Out” and to maintain benefit levels for current and future retirees.
The average annual pension for a Local 804 UPS member retiring after 25 years, aged at least 55, is $48,000. Compare that the median private pension benefit of individuals age 65 and older - only $9,376 a year. Only 8% of companies provide their workers with a traditional defined benefit pension plan. A full 55 million private sector workers don’t have access to any kind of employer provided retirement plan.
As companies terminate pension funds, union struggles increasingly involve stopping companies from switching workers from pension plans to 401(k) plans. This saves companies money at the expense of workers’ retirement security
Because of the high costs to employers, pensions are always a target in contract negotiations. UPS currently pays more than $13 dollars an hour for full-time workers’ pension – a full 23% of their hourly labor costs. Compare that to 1997, when the pension was only 11% of hourly costs.
Secure retirements are provided to very few American workers today. We have learned that securing our own retirements can never be taken for granted. Preserving our pension benefits is always a fight. Like previous generations of Local 804 members, each of us must do our part by unifying in contract negotiations and taking political action!