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Ge Retirement


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 a Better
The GE Pension Plan:                                  sustained by the pension plan, its compound
                                                      investment return was 75.7%.
Very Rich Indeed

   The pension fund continues to be over-             Personal Pension Account
funded, holding more than $5 in assets for
every $4 of benefits which have been earned by           While GE has not contributed a penny to
GE employees and retirees.                            support pension benefits since 1987, employees
   That doesn’t sound like much, does it? But it      have been required to contribute 3% of earnings
adds up to nearly $16 billion in overfunding!         over a set threshold to their so-called Personal
Such a rich plan is more than able to improve         Pension Accounts.
the benefits received by those already retired as        In 2007, GE pays 5.51% on the PPA. Yet, it
well as active employees who will retire in the       pays 8.5% to 14% on deferred compensation
future.                                               accounts for top executives.
    Between 1999 and the end of 2006, the                Even though the earnings threshold has been
assets of the GE pension fund grew from $43.4         increased in recent years, most members have
billion to $54.7 billion. In that time, it paid out   made contributions to this forced savings plan
$17.8 billion in benefits. Employee                   over the years and those dollars add directly to
contributions added $1.2 billion.                     the assets of the GE pension fund, helping the
   The plan had total investment returns of           company to continue its funding holiday.
$27.1 billion – despite $8.1 billion in losses in        From 1999 to 2006, the compound interest
the down markets of 2001 and 2002.                    paid to employee assets in Personal Pension
   Even with two years of investment losses           Accounts amounted to 50.3%, considerably less
than the 75.7% compound interest rate earned by           Mass., for 32.5 years and receives $581 a
the investments in the GE Pension Plan                    month.
   It is outrageous that the pension fund has             • Helen Quirini worked for GE in
enjoyed great returns on its investments over the         Schenectady, N.Y., for 39 years and receives
years but the company has limited the interest            $736 a month.
paid on Personal Pension Accounts to not much             • John Burke worked for GE in Lynn, Mass.,
more than what might be paid to a passbook                for 43.5 years and receives $1,007 a month.
savings account.
   It is no wonder such a small portion of the
benefits paid to retirees flow from the PPA.           GE’s Executive Retirement
                                                       Plan Pays Top Dollar
Retirees Need An Increase                                 The GE Supplementary Pension Plan (SPP)
                                                       provides retirement benefits for executives that
                                                       exceed IRS limitations on the benefits that can
   After 2003 negotiations, the plan guarantees a
                                                       be paid from tax-qualified pension plans.
worker, retiring after 30 years of work, a pension
minimum of $990 per month - which replaces                The SPP pays up to 70% of an executive’s
roughly 32% of final year’s wages.                     average annual compensation based on his or her
                                                       highest 36 consecutive months of compensation.
   GE retirees received a one-time extra month’s
pension check in 2003 as a result of 2003                 So, for example, Robert C. Wright, vice
contract negotiations. The last permanent              chairman of the board and retired head of NBC
increase came in 2000, but it only applied to          Universal, has an SPP accumulated value of
those who retired before June 1997.                    $59,221,042 as of the end of this year. Plus, he
                                                       will has another $1,395,952 in accumulated
   Too many of our retirees are living near
                                                       benefits from his regular pension: that’s more
poverty and struggling to make ends meet:
                                                       than 60.8 million in benefits for an average
   • Joseph Taliger worked for GE in Lynn,             credited service of 34 years. Outrageous!

             Pension Plan Principles
     The CBC believes that all decisions about our pension funds must be guided by the following:

          • Pension plan assets should be used exclusively for the benefit of plan participants.
          • Pension funds should be used to secure a fair and just retirement for beneficiaries.
          • The benefit of surplus funds should go to plan participants.
          • The pension plan must be managed in the interest of beneficiaries.
          • The pension plan must review benefit levels of retirees and make adjustments based on
            increases in the cost of living.

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