Wednesday, April 22, 2009

InterLocal Pension Information

GCC/IBT Interlocal Pension Fund Chairman, John Agenbroad
visited on April 17th in Commerce to provide information on the pension fund and answer questions regarding the fund.

This pension is the only 501 C18 in the country. It was founded in 1950 and the fund is overseen by union trustees , NO company trustees. There is in fact absolutely no involvement by the company in any way with regards to the fund, its investments or the administration of the fund.

The Fund's assets were reported in 2007 of the 57th Annual Report of The Trustees to be approximately 1.8 Billion dollars.
John stated the current assets are reported to be 1.4 billion dollars.The administration fees are a mere 4% which is unbelievable for a fund with the assets that are in the ILPF.

Full retirement benefits at age 65. Of course early retirement is possible with the normal percentage of reduced benefits based on years retired prior to 65th birthday and length of participation in the fund.

The fund also contains a Disability Benefit once your account reaches a balance of $1500.00, everyone qualifies regardless of age.

The plan uses a unit based scale, 1 unit equaling $260.00. Once your account reaches a balance of $260.00, you are 100% vested. Monthly contributions are made on an after tax basis and contributions can be deffered when filing your income taxes. All members equally contribute an agreed monthly percentage of their gross monthly income. It also allows you to automatically contribute more when overtime is worked. There is currently a $7000.00 annual limit which the Teamsters are currently lobbying to increase to the same $16,500.00 limit applied to 401k's. We are told this may occur soon which will allow our members to increase their annual retirement investments.

The plan invests in equity funds, domestic and international that are screened through the AFL-CIO to insure there are no labor issues with the countries, companies or businesses that receive our union investments. The Fund will not invest in oppressed countries and never has, nor will it ever invest in hedge funds.

There has been 11 increases in benefits in a thirty year period with only 1 decrease over the same period. How many times have we had our benefits reduced until now that they're completely gone. Companies have abandoned their responsibility to provide retirement dollars to their long term valued employees, its now up to you to take care of your retirement investments.

There is also portability with the fund for up to two years if leaving the company. You may continue to contribute for up to two years at which time you may continue to participate in the fund if you remain in the printing industry, regardless of the new employer or whether employment is under union contract.

These are some of the main highlights of the Interlocal Pension Fund based on Chairman Agenbroad's presentation and questions asked by the members who actually took the time to attend this very important meeting. I was disappointed that Chairman Agenbroad, who also happens to be Mayor of Springboro, Ohio, took time from his busy schedule to come and meet all of you and bring such valuable information for your retirement future and there were an abundance of empty chairs.

With all the bullshit that has resulted as a result of ratifying the contract, the economy and the health of the newspaper industry, the ability to invest in the Interlocal Pension Fund will certainly make up for loss of the inferior retirement vehicles provided by the company.

Literature can be obtained from Keith Denson in Los Angeles or Charlie Laird in Orange County.
The literature they possess are the Summary Plan Description and Trustee Indenture, The 57th Annual Report of the Trustees, an informative fund overview pamphlet and the Table of Benefits based on number of units.

I challenge everyone to take these documents to their financial consultants and/or tax preparers for their professional opinion of the information contained therein and whether they believe there is a comparable plan that you can invest in. I hope at least some of you accept this challenge and report your findings to Keith or myself to publish here. Don't you think you should at least investigate this plan and whether or not you can better invest your retirement savings elsewhere?

Chairman Agenbroad is willing to return and answer your questions and provide answers if any of you are interested and aren't too busy to be concerned about your retirement because you're all so freaking young. I will only ask him to return if commitments to attend are received.

We need to vote on participating in this fund so I suggest everyone get the necessary information literature from Keith, Charlie or myself and at least take advantage of one of the benefits of organizing that mangement can't screw with. Take responsibility for the future.

For more information visit the ILPF website at http://www.ilpfgciu.org/ or e-mail info@ilpfgciu.org
For immediate answers, or literature, call (630) 752-8400

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