Friday, July 20, 2012

Pension Confidential | Issue 7.20.12

At the request of readers, I've created this forum exclusively for comments and news about Gannett's pension plan, a retirement program benefiting about 50,000 current and retired employees.


  1. As Gracia Martore said in a recent Board meeting..."the under funded pension plan is my most single biggest concern for Gannett"

    1. 7:14 BS never happened.

  2. 7:14 Fascinating -- if true. I wonder how that sort of communication would get out of the board meeting?

  3. "My most single biggest concern"? She's more articulate than that.

  4. Wow! The REAL My Boss?

  5. Take this from a former Gannett Corporate employer from the heyday, who left be4 the Titanic sank: Most of you will not have to worry about the pension plan ... because you will not receive one from Gannett.

    Layoffs, personality conflicts, job performance, a company that looks out solely for its leadership regarding pay and pensions and not you, the dumb overspent move to Tyson's, the former $100k+ Christmas parties, etc = no pension for 95% of you in time.

  6. 10:09 -

    not sure where are corporate you were but you weren't involved in what you are claiming to know about - as for the Tyson's property - you would know that Gannett bought that property YEARS prior to moving into the building and that it probably still is a very good return on the investment. You would know that the rosslyn building was only being leased and the costs to upgrade (broadcast) were incredibly high. As for the $100k Xmas parties - really? care to share how you came up with that number?

  7. It's easy to spend $100K on a corporate party. The rent for the venue might be around $30,000 to $50,000 and catering/flowers/table drapes easily can eat up around $50K. They should have given employees a cash bonus instead.

  8. A big question is why the last statement for me shows a substntially lower number than the one I saw some years ago. What's up with that?

  9. I have been told the first one was an estimate while the most recent was a drilled down version which took into consideration status changes, time when you were not with company, all that kind of stuff. The most recent statement had better more accurate and up to the plan close data. As a result the estimate for some went up, some went down and most were relatively the same. T


    " .. As Gracia Martore said in a recent Board meeting..."the under funded pension plan is my most single biggest concern for Gannett"

    Look at USPS. To shore their pension fund, they're making SERIOUS cut-backs.

    My guess is, if the pension fund drops below 70% funded (forecast), that invites more federal review. That is, she WOULD have to do something, very serious.

    This is a national problem, and tied to the general economy.

    But since print is having a very hard time, it has less operating room to move.

    One possible outcome -- she gets rid of some the the REAL A55hole Gannettoids, the real jerks, the real losers, and starts a "listening campaign." To lessen the pain of any potential cutbacks.

    Again -- fellow old-timers, it is in YOUR best interests to keep good records, and to clearly understand them. As if YOUR future depended on them. You are your best friend.

  11. Per previous - bond rates going down (thanks, Ben Bernke).


    A big question is why the last statement for me shows a substntially lower number than the one I saw some years ago. What's up with that?

  12. 1pm
    So Gannett purchased the overpriced Tyson's property?
    Update for you. Many purchased real estate 2004-2007 that today is worth 1/2 what they bought (and owe today) for, but ... they bought.

    Gannett owns the Tyson's property? Nope, the bank owns it as I seriously doubt it's paid for. It's just more debt. Perhaps they should return to Rochester, as the cheaper cost of living there may actually help them.

    But they paid for Tyson's real estate + executives to get rich over the pension plan many will never get.

  13. Hey 10 a.m. I think the earlier poster hit nail on head. Estimates are estimates. That was the first thing you saw years ago. Now you have an up to the minute online pension that is a real calculation.

  14. Hey 10 A:M:
    The reason for the lower number is that there was a possible cost of living raise figured into the pension based on the CPI consumer price index.
    On my pension they were figuring a 2.2 percent increase per year on the figures they gave me. I started receiving my pension in 2010 and it was lower then what they had estimated because the CPI did not go up for 2 years after the froze the pension in 2008.

  15. Hey 10 AM
    The reason that you are getting lower numbers could be that the estimates that were given had a cost of living increase.
    When they froze the pension in 2008 my pension numbers were giving me a 2.2 percent increase per year. it was based on the CPI Consumer Price Index.
    I received my pension in 2010 and the figures were lower because there was no CPI increase from 2008 to 2010. So I lost 4.4 percent.

  16. Another thing to keep in mind is that for anyone receiving long term disability, the company's disability carrier (Cigna) reduces the amount you receive by the amount of the pension. You can defer getting the pension until after the disability payments stop (age 65) and get a few more dollars a month. This detail is only in the long form plan description (not in the plan summary). The disability payments are also reduced by the amount of the Social Security diability payments once you are approved. My husband retired from Gannett because of a progressive neurological disorder. We'd added the pension, disability pay, and Social Security payments and thought we'd be fine. Once we got the full plan description not too long before he had to leave work, we realized that we won't lose the house but are not so fine after all.

  17. Having been royally screwed by this company, I'm not a fan of Gannett — but I will say this: the company to which it outsourced its pension benefits process, while initially sucky, has really cleaned up its act (unlike Gannett itself).

    I read with dread the horror stories of long delays, and super-stressed when my time came, kicked to the curb in my late 50s after nearly 30 years, to begin the pension process.

    No need for the angst. In my case, I opted for a lump sum payment as I don't trust the future viabilitgy of this company (Gannett), even if the pension fund is legally secure. I earned this pension in an abusive, hellish environment.

    Get this: it took just 12 days to receive the lump sum — and a substantial one at that after such a long length of service (that is, until Gannett froze the contributions back in August 2008).

    Of course, they don't notify you or anything. Once you're off the payroll, you don't exist to Gannett — but you do exist to the company that handles the pension fund.

    12 days. Wow.


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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