Monday, April 04, 2011

April 4-10 | Your News & Comments: Part 1

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40 comments:

  1. How's your week looking?

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  2. The people who have been bashing Jim for inaccuracies in the reporting on this blog need to remember that he is getting information from all of us. If he misses a comment, or gets a number wrong, all you have to do is make the correction. Bashing is not needed.
    I would hope that we are adults here, not children. Yes, adults, many of whom are going through very tough times, but adults nonetheless.
    Please bring your thoughtful anger, not your petty tempers.
    I, for one, make a point of reading this blog several times during the day. For the most part, I enjoy this community, and I REALLY appreciate Jim's articles digging into various aspects of Gannettland. Thanks, Jim.

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  3. There seems to be an effort to bully us into submission and quiescence. I, for one, do not accept bullying. Might I suggest we ignore some submissions?

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  5. This is layoff announcement week !
    The second week after quarter end,
    and the revenue numbers start coming in.
    The downward spiral continues !!
    The plan B that everyone should have after
    2 years of layoffs and unfilled positions,
    should be fine tuned.If not your head is in the sand and whatever happens should not be a shock.
    Or even anything out of the ordinary.
    Layoffs,by now, are just part a normal work
    week.

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  6. More media cos CEO pay. Gannett's is looking small in comparison. This is out of control. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts pay rises to $31.1 million; NBCU head Stephen Burke pay jumps to $34.7 million http://bloom.bg/htV6Ex

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  7. I am wondering if anyone else has encountered this Gannett pension situation:
    I requested my pension information in anticipation of a possible retirement. After several months, I was finally provided that information. Because so many HR-related dealing I've had with Gannett have been inaccurate, I asked to see the actual numbers and formula that was used to calculate the final amount (since that's all that's provided in Gannett's retirement packet). I was subsequently told that corporate does not provide that information.
    Seems strange.

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  8. 8:55 a.m. I second what you wrote! Thanks for saying what I've been thinking for awhile. And thanks to Jim for providing this venue for us to share and to vent.

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  9. 10:43 -- You may want to consult with an attorney. Gannett seems more responsive where legal matters are concerned, and a professional is probably the only one who can give you a credible answer to your question.

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  10. Hello 10:43 a.m....That is strange. What I'd suggest is that you contact the financial institution that maintains the pension account. Corporate HR should be able to answer that.

    If that doesn't satisfy you, I'd suggest you have your personal financial advisor (if you don't have one, get one) call Corporate HR on your behalf.

    If that still doesn't work, have your lawyer call and insist that Gannett provides the information.

    There's no reason why this information should be secret.

    While I'm on this.....Anyone who has been laid off and is eligible for a pension roll over should do it ASAP.

    You will make so much more putting it into an IRA with mututal funds, an annuity, etc. In fact, you may find the growth can account for 25 to 50 percent of your former salary.

    Yes, there are cases when being laid off can be profitable!

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  11. And if you were in a bad spot - like I was when Gannett kicked me to the curb after 15 years - take the lump sum, pay the dang tax hit and use the proceed as a lifeline to cover the mortgage and bills while you look for other work. I paid a $13,000 penalty plus taxes. But I kept my house. The lights stayed on. The kids had new shoes and I am now happily employed. I also used the balance to open a Roth. Much of that $13,000 has come back.

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  12. Layoff in USAT IT have started.

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  13. 9:58 Two years of layoffs? They've been laying off since 2007 at my place. Almost 4 years of stop-and-go layoffs and furloughs.

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  14. any more details on IT layoffs at usat?

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  15. I expect we'll see an overall consolidation of IT jobs -- especially across the U.S. newspapers, with the establishment of the five page design and pagination hubs. Stacey Martin, who reportedly just got named to a position as CCI NewsGate chief, would be a leader in any effort along these lines.

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  16. To 11:23 a.m. Consult my financial advisor and my attorney? Yeah, I will probably run into them down at the country club after my Beemer gets out of the shop.

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  17. And if you were in a bad spot - like I was when Gannett kicked me to the curb after 15 years - take the lump sum, pay the dang tax hit and use the proceed as a lifeline to cover the mortgage and bills while you look for other work. I paid a $13,000 penalty plus taxes. But I kept my house. The lights stayed on. The kids had new shoes and I am now happily employed. I also used the balance to open a Roth. Much of that $13,000 has come back.
    4/04/2011 12:11 PM

    Ass nut, you should have rolled over into a traditional IRA that way if you still needed to make withdrawals you could withdraw only exactly what you needed instead of paying a huge tax hit and cashing the money out. It's amazing how uneducated people are financially.

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  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  20. 3:12 It doesn't cost you anything to talk to an attorney. The costs come only if they take the case, or believe you have a case. So at least take the first step. You can easily do a Google search on "find a lawyer" and pick someone who has pension expertise.

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  21. 3:12 p.m.....You don't have to be a millionaire to have a financial advisor. They make money off your money, sure, but go to a reputable firm - Wells Fargo, for example, and they'll make you money, too.

    You must plan your financial future or you may not have one you can live on!

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  22. 3:12 and 3:16 -- Does everyone have to treat people like garbage in these comment sections?

    3:16 -- Your advice is sound, but when you start your sentence with "ass nut" people automatically tune out. It's rude, and it's people who act like know it alls who make people afraid to ask questions and learn more about finances. We don't know all the ins and outs of the original poster's situation, and even rolling a 401k into something like a Roth IRA can cost money because you have to pay the taxes. Frankly, I'm not sure whether the original guy meant that he paid $13,000 in penalties or $13,000 in taxes and penalties. People often look at them both as a penalty, but that's not the reality. You can escape all taxes and penalties by rolling your money into a traditional IRA, but you still pay taxes and penalties if you withdraw early. A Roth IRA lets you withdraw money penalty free after five years, but there are upfront taxes. There are many, many options here and the one you mentioned is only one ... and not necessarily the best one for everyone reading.

    3:12 -- You asked for financial advice on a forum that is not moderated by lawyers and financial advisors. The only way for you to get a reasonable grip on your situation is to talk to professionals. If you're talking about a great deal of money, you would be well to do this whether you have a country club membership or not. You may not like that answer, but there's no reason to lash out at people who give you sound advice. If you aren't willing to talk to people who know what they're doing and might be willing to represent you, you need to be happy with the answer that corporate gave you.

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  23. We have to realize our lives depend on the experise of professionals. We are used to this idea with doctors and dentists, and we need to get used to it when dealing with financial and legal issues, too. If you have bought any property, then you have already dealt with lawyers without having a country club membership.

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  24. 3:12 p.m.....You don't have to be a millionaire to have a financial advisor. They make money off your money, sure, but go to a reputable firm - Wells Fargo, for example, and they'll make you money, too.

    You must plan your financial future or you may not have one you can live on!
    4/04/2011 4:26 PM

    fyi - Wells Fargo is hardly reputable, I worked there and if you knew what they really think of their customers you wouldn't bank or do any of your business there. Plus if you think GCI treated their employees bad, Wells Fargo is the Devil incarnate!!!

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  25. For free financial advise, need to compile a decent amount in IRA vehicles in one house (whether Chuckie Schwab, Fidelity, etc.) and take advantage of the free advisors. It gets better too once you cross a certain threshold, like $200K. But I find the advisors to be helpful even if you have an amount with them that's far, far less.

    That said, the best advice is, inevitably: Keep at least six months of living expenses in a savings account. Put the rest in a combination of Roth/traditional IRAS (or SEPs if you qualify for self-employment). Diversify your portfolio according to your age and level of acceptable risk. Strongly consider broad index funds over manager-run mutual funds. Don't try to time the market.

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  26. 2q furloughs at my site are for people making $80,000 or more, so the policy first announced by Nashville must be the same everywhere

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  27. That said, the best advice is, inevitably: Keep at least six months of living expenses in a savings account. Put the rest in a combination of Roth/traditional IRAS (or SEPs if you qualify for self-employment). Diversify your portfolio according to your age and level of acceptable risk. Strongly consider broad index funds over manager-run mutual funds. Don't try to time the market.
    4/04/2011 6:53 PM

    Good advice, except I would recommend 2 to 3 years of living expenses saved, in this economy especially. If you don't you will find yourself in a world of hurt.

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  28. PR has once again blown it away at 130% for the quarter.
    To everyone who says "things are falling apart" get a clue, things are GREAT!

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  29. Plus if you think GCI treated their employees bad, Wells Fargo is the Devil incarnate!!!

    4/04/2011 6:08 PM

    I wholeheartedly concur - that's why Gannett is making business with them giving out mortgages. And the kicker is that a former Wells Fargo employee was hired and shortly thereafter Gannett was on board offering Wells Fargos mortgage services. Wells Fargo wrote the book on how to screw with people's finances. I wouldn't touch that with a 10-foot pole. LOL!

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  30. PR = PointRoll

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  31. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  32. You know what I have noticed lately is that everyone is ready to sail someone else down the river. I guess everyone is afraid of losing their job — but I am finding everyone else is trying to place blame on other people. Anyone else noticing this trend?

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  33. Everyone should be afraid of losing their job.
    The last 3 years or more have proven that no
    one is safe.Great performers,over achievers,
    slackers, or just average worker bees,when your number is up,you are gone!!

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  34. 10:43am: I had a copy of the program document for the retirement program, but I'm not sure I brought it with me when I left. When GCI froze the retirement plan in 2008, they no longer did estimates since they provided everyone with a statement of their account amount when they froze it. Usually they include a copy of their calculation document showing what your final amount was based on. I'm waiting for mine to come, so I'll remember more when I see the documents. They are required by ERISA (the pension laws) to have a program document and you should be able to request one. You might want to do a search for "Your Rights Under ERISA".

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  35. What does that item on PR mean? Does it mean, as I assume, that Pointroll hit its numbers, plus some. If so, that is great news and Pointroll has reason to celebrate. But other departments are not hitting their numbers, and they used to bring in the lion' share of revenues, so that isn't going down well in McLean.

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  36. 9:40 That's exactly right. There's no rhyme or reason to what has happened. Good and consistent performers were shown the door and slackers were kept on the payroll. The process is all political and paying off grudges.

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  37. The lump sum payout at the time the pensions were frozen were calculated as follows. They took your average base salary for the last five years which for this example and simplicity of math we'll call $50,000. Let's also say for the sake of example you worked at GCI for 22 years. They then gave you 5% of your avg, salary per year for the first ten years. 5% x $50,000= $2500/yr for the ten years or $25,000. They then gave you 7% of your avg. salary for the next ten years. 7% x $50,000=$3500/yr for those ten years or $35,000. They gave you 9% of your avg. salary for any years after that. 9% x $50,000=$4500/yr or $9,000 for the last two years. Total pension for somebody who worked for GCI for 22 years making an avg. of 50k/yr at the time they froze the pension got 25k + 35k + 9K= $69,000 plus a cola calculated monthly as long as you left the money with GCI. This was the lump sum plan calculation and NOT the traditional pension plan which was changed back around the time they started the 401k (1990?). You can figure your approx. pension amt. due using the above formula if you know your avg salary for the 5 years leading up to the year it was frozen.

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  38. PR's 130% is what, 1300 bucks? Whoo, time to get some spinner wheels for the Jaguar.

    .13% on the newspaper side is PR's total current value. And yet, priorities and focus feature something that makes folding money years from now.

    Considering the stockholder's major focus is on the next eight quarters, not years - why aren't we concentrating on the big revenue in hand vs. what's in the bush?

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Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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