Academic Senate Forum
Davis Division Post-Employment Benefits Executive Council Resolution
The UC Academic Senate has asked each Division to review and comment concerning the Post-Employment Benefits Task Force Recommendations. The Executive Council met on Friday, October 15, 2010, and approved the following amended resolution from the Committee on Faculty Welfare:
- The Davis Division strongly opposes Options A and B, on the grounds that they are uncompetitive across essentially all employee groups.
- If current employees are offered the choice to continue under the current UCRP plan terms for their future service, the Davis Division strongly opposes requiring an employee contribution in excess of 7 percent for those who choose to remain under the current plan terms. Moreover, the Davis Division opposes any increase in employee contributions from current levels without offsetting salary increases for faculty and staff, to avoid any reduction in total remuneration relative to current uncompetitive levels.
- The Davis Division supports any new-tier defined benefit pension plan which is at least competitive in benefits with Option C and that, in combination with salary increases, provides for competitive total remuneration for employees hired into the new-tier plan and also for current employees who elect to move to the new plan.
In our efforts to achieve the broadest possible consultation before the Davis Division’s recommendation is communicated to the Academic Council on October 27, 2010, we ask for your feedback on this resolution as well as any other thoughts you may have concerning this matter.
Additional detailed information is available on the Future of UC Retirement Benefits website: http://universityofcalifornia.edu/sites/ucrpfuture/task-force-inf/ and the Davis Division home page: http://academicsenate.ucdavis.edu/
Please note: Opinions expressed on this forum are public. However, we have included the option to mark your post anonymous.
(Postings reflect the views of the writers and are not the views of the Academic Senate, its officers, or agencies. Libelous material will not be posted. Factual documentation of questionable statements may be requested, but comments will not be edited. The Academic Senate Office reserves the right to refuse to post any item that is deemed inappropriate or unrelated to the business of the Academic Senate.)
This forum closed on 10/26/2010 at 5:00 PM.
The academic senate needs to take a negative stance against all of the plans in such that none of the plans address the massive unfunded liability. The various staff and faculty unions have uniformly predicted that this unfunded liability will be the eventual and slow death of any defined benefits retirement system at UC. They have all addressed the unfunded liability in their formal responses to the PEB options. Why is it not addressed here? If there is some reason why the academic senate is not concerned about the unfunded liability, they need to make it clear to the faculty and in this response, otherwise they appear to not be looking out for the interest of the general faculty and staff. To quote the letter from the Council of University Faculty Associations to President Yudof "We are struck by the fact that none of the options before us provide a credible plan for amortizing UCRP’s snowballing unfunded liability. Failure to do so will pave the way for a never-ending cycle of more student fee increases, more lay-offs, more contribution increases, and more benefit cuts. As anticipated benefits become less cost effective, less calculable and less secure, many lower and middle income employees will demand a defined contribution opt-out. Our defined benefits system would then collapse due to adverse selection. Plans A, B and C all claim to prolong the life of defined benefits at UC, but they are structured in a way that anticipates, and in fact contributes to, its slow death. This is an unacceptable way to proceed."
I affirm the proposed resolution, and each of its points. Recruitment of new faculty and staff will depend on competitive salary and benefits. The Regents must stand firm on this, and we must encourage them to do so at every opportunity.
Interestingly, when I was hired at Davis and left my previous position at a large Midwestern university, I was shocked to find that, even with a generous off-scale addition, my salary would be little more than I made in the Midwest, with housing and costs of living in California over twice as much! But one of the ways I rationalized it was to consider the generous UC pension (whereas my previous employer had only 403B-type retirement plans), thinking that at UC I wouldn't have to put away as much of my own money for retirement every month. So now if Plans A or B go through, it looks like I'll be in negative territory on both salary and retirement. How is this supposed to be solvent as a long-term strategy? This is no way to hold on to excellent faculty.