The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia


March 8, 2021billrossInquirer

Happy International Women’s Day!

A potentially amazing thing MIGHT have happened over the weekend with the Senate passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: It just MIGHT save the Guild pension.

(And for members hired more recently after the Company stopped contributing to the pension fund and instead offered 401(k) matches, please keep reading, because this bulletin has an important message for you, too!)

If the rescue is true, projections by actuaries that the pension fund might be out of money by 2024/2025 — with no guarantee that a government insurance fund would kick in to at least provide partial pension payments to retirees — would no longer be valid.

This would be remarkable. For many, it would be a game changer in terms of quality of life in retirement. In fact, it could actually enable some of us to retire well before we thought we would be able to afford to. Arguably, that could save others’ jobs in the future, perhaps making offered buyouts more attractive to some who could count on a pension.

BUT, it is important for everyone to understand that Bill Ross and I, as trustees on the pension fund, along with actual experts on these very complex things, are still trying to grasp what exactly the Rescue Plan means to the Guild pension. Plan administrators are working now to get us answers. We will provide them to all of you when they become available.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT to understand that the Guild CANNOT and WILL NOT provide financial guidance and advice to members. You must consult a financial professional on how all of this will impact your financial status and future. 

For those Guild members who do not qualify for a pension, please let this underscore why it is VITAL that you participate in the 401(k). To not do so literally leaves money on the table the Company is willing to give you.

Trust me, you want your future financial health to be tied to a much more reliable vehicle such as a 401(k) than to live the nightmare of thinking that a pot of money that was supposed to be available for your retirement is running out of money and needs an act of Congress to save it. 

Please learn a lesson from this and plan accordingly. 

In solidarity,