Sep 28, 2007

Retiree Benefits Open Enrollment

The Retiree Benefits Open Enrollment period for Los Alamos National Laboratory is October 22 through November 16, 2007. Retirees wishing to make changes to their current benefits for 2008 need to enroll through Hewitt Associates Customer Care between 8:00 a.m. (MST) on Monday, October 22, 2007, and 11:59 p.m. (MST) on Friday, November 16, 2007.

Retirees Presentations:

Monday, October 1st
National Hispanic Cultural Center
Bank of America Theatre
Albuquerque, NM 87102
9:30 am - 11:30 am and
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Wednesday, October 3rd
Los Alamos High School
Dwayne Smith Auditorium
Los Alamos, NM, 87544
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Thursday, October 4th
Cities of Gold Casino
10 Cities of Gold Road
Pojoaque, NM, 87506
9:30 am - 11:30 am

Friday, October 5th
The Lodge (formerly the Sheraton)
750 North St. Francie Drive
Santa Fe, NM, 87501
9:30 am - 11:30 am and
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Anonymous said...

Thanks to the blog for posting this.

It is unforetunate that we did not thus far get any notification of these meetings from Hewitt. And, there is nothing on their website.

Anonymous said...

The message is clear.

Just because you worked for LANL for years is no reason for you to expect to be treated reasonably now. It would be so much better for LANS financially if we didn't have to cover your promised medical benefits. Consequently we will do everything in our power to make it difficult for you.

Anonymous said...

This just in from the latest LANL News Bulletin...


2008 medical rate increase lower than anticipated - LANL News Bulletin
September 28, 2007

...Polito also noted that Benefits is gearing up for the Laboratory's fiscal year 2008 benefits value study an independent analysis comparing the Laboratory's benefits value with those of 15 other companies and universities. The Laboratory competes with many of these institutions for employees. The benefits value study was last done in 2006 when it was used as the basis for developing the Laboratory's Total Compensation Package (TCP) 2.

Depending on the outcome of the 2008 benefits value study, the Laboratory may need to consider future adjustments primarily to the health and welfare benefits design to maintain the usual TCP2 benefits value range of 95 to 105 percent of other companies, Polito said. If needed, any adjustments to the health and welfare plans would affect all employees but would not be formally considered until August of next year, he said.


Read that last line over several times very carefully. Note especially the bit about "all employees". That "all employees" also includes current staff on TCP1 and LANL retirees.

Let me translate this for you from LANS-Speak. You may have retired on UCRP and thought your retiree medical was safe from all the current turmoil at LANL. Wrong! DOE's BenVal analysis requirement does more than just adjust the 401k contributions for those in TCP2. It also has the ability to effect medical benefits supplied to *everyone* at LANL, both current employees and retirees.

Retiree medical (which is not a guaranteed benefit) is paid by LANS and the DOE will now be holding it up to the same BenVal (Benefits Value) analysis being used against current lab employees. Thus, when the latest BenVal is completed, it will be found that most companies in America have dropped their medical responsibilities for retirees. These BenVal results can then filter down, automatically, into LANS action to drop their responsibility to continue medical coverage for current retirees. LANS will simple say, "DOE holds us to the BenVal analysis, and the latest analysis shows that most companies no longer cover this benefit for their retirees." You're being setup for all this in the above news announcement, so pay close attention.

If you're a retiree, you need to wake up. The DOE's BenVal requirement that was carefully tucked into the NNSA's LLC contract RFP could be getting ready to have a nasty effect on retirement lifestyle. If you thought you were immune from the LLC fiasco at LANL because you're retired, think again. I fully expect to see the retiree medical benefits scaled back or perhaps even wiped out within the next few years. BenVal will be the weapon used by DOE to kill it off.

Greg Close said...

To 9/28/2007: the information sessions were posted for quite some time on the LANL Retiree web page, as well as in the LRG Newsletter, several Newspapers(Sunday and weekday editions) and via direct home mailing to retirees.

To 9/29/07: LANL enhanced the retiree benefits this year, adding both better dental coverage and eliminating the "non-duplication" provision for Part D Rx coverage. LANL also worked with Hewitt to work around the aggravating YBR password system to make is easier for retirees to access their account information. *That* message should be clear - we do care very much, and we provide better benefits than most Fortune 50 companies.

To 10/2/07: No one wants to cut the retiree medical plan, least of all the LANL Benefits Managers who are enrolled in TCP1 and hope to someday take advantage of the benefit. You might also be curious to know that preliminary results of the BenVal show no adjustment is probably for 2008.

Anyone with questions about our benefit design, communications, relationship with Hewitt, or commitment to providing the best we can for our retirees is free to contact me directly. If you are angry with us, it should at the least be well informed anger.

Greg Close
Health Plans Administrator, LANL