Remove U55 Pension Penalty
We recognize the BIC Pension plan is a generous plan. For many of us the decision to stay with BIC in recent years was largely due to the pension plan. Our life plans were based on counting on the plan being there for us, as we were promised when we began employment with BIC. In the plan guidelines those of us under 55 suffer the most because of the penalty imposed because we will not have reached our 55th birthday before the sale of the Graphic division. The Human Resources group will point out that you can “make it up” by delaying benefits until 65. In the best case, it takes delaying drawing the pension by three years – so 36 months of benefits is lost. That isn’t making it up.
In addition to the under 55 penalty on the pension, most of us lost the retiree medical insurance benefit 5 years ago. We were either under 50 or had less than 15 years of service at that time. We were given a small reimbursement for that did not come close to what the benefit was worth to us.
We are also now finding out that we will lose retiree life insurance because we will not be 55 when our employment ends.
We aren’t leaving BIC; BIC is leaving us. We are a group that has bleed BIC Orange for many years; we all have more than 10 years of service with the company. We have worked hard for BIC and lived by the BIC Vision and Values. Now we are asking you to live by those Values by providing some relief to the major impact the sale of BIC Graphic USA is having on this group.
We are requesting that you remove the penalty for not being 55 at the time of the sale and provide retiree life insurance when we retire. These are the same benefits people who are over 55 are receiving, even if they have less years of service than we do.
A few years ago BIC offered 5 years added to age and length of service for pension calculations as way to reduce workforce voluntarily. That was creative thinking that created a win-win. We are hoping you can be equally creative now.
We thank you for your time and looking forward to hearing from you.