Another complication in NC is that if you receive severance pay or pay for unused vacation, you are not considered unemployed during the period that the severance/vacation pay covers. So if you get 13 weeks of severance pay, you can not start collecting unemployment benefits until after the 13 weeks is up.
I believe an exception to this is made if you are enrolled in an approved education or job training program.
Here are some links where you can read more:
If you are able to find another job before unemployment benefits run out, you may want to start receiving your pension anyway. The amount of your pension check will increase slightly (around 2%) for each year you delay it. But it will take decades to reach the break even point once you do start it. In my opinion, you are better off starting your pension as soon as you can.
This next point is getting a bit of the track of your original question, but may be important to you.
If you are married, you can not select any joint and survivor options until you actually start collecting your pension. Until then, you will have 50% pre-retirement spouse protection coverage. If you want something other than the 50% option for your spouse, or you want to choose someone else, such as a child as the beneficiary of your pension, you can't do that until you start your pension.
The FAQ on the NY Department of Labor website does NOT tell the entire story.
In NY, and many other states, whether or not you are eligible for unemployment benefits while receiving a pension depends on your work history over what is known as the "base period" which is the last 5 completed calendar quarters (i.e. the last 15 to 18 months). If the work you did during that period earned you an increased pension benefit, then you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits. But because IBM froze the pension plan as of Dec 31, 2007, you did NOT earn an increased pension benefit since then, and therefore you ARE eligible for unemployment benefits.
So, if you are laid off, apply for unemployment benefits. If possible, provide the information about the IBM pension plan with your initial application. The cover page and page 5 of USHR113 (available in the files section of this group) should be sufficient to prove your statement about not earning any new pension benefits.
If you are denied benefits, appeal the decision and provide the information again. The lower level workers who process the applications don't always understand this fine point of the eligibility rules. If you are denied, don't give up!
chance of possibly coming back as a contractor. Sure, happens all the time. This is part of the RA savings. You may come back at half pay and no bennies. Some have come back as a consulting firm and actually made more (I have never met any of these.)
Does a PBC=3 definately mean I am gone with the next RA? It puts you in the most likely pool but it is not always so. My last department was dis-banded. Some of us jumped ship as we saw the writing on the wall. The only folks that got RA's were 3 male employees with over 30 years. All had PBC above 2. They were forced into early retirement. All the female employees regardless of age or PBC were sent to other jobs in the company. Sounds fishy but that is politics.
Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
WRT contesting your 3, my approach was to just "disagree with the assessment" and include a "disclaimer" that I had been adequately briefed on how the decision was reached, yada, yada, yada. My impression (I was a manager for a couple of years) is that most of the "pain" that management goes through is not because employees complain (they must certainly expect that...who is going to like being told they're no good?), but because the manager did not jump through all the Human Resources "hoops".
A clear statement that your management told you what was going on but that you still disagree with the assessment may be useful to you, is CYA for your management and may help you with some things ... may not, YMMV. By the way, I just got my 2nd 3, my first was about 5 years ago, so it is not the "kiss of death" but I am not sure I will survive this one...at age 66 and 30+ years of service, I'm not sure how hard I am willing to fight this time.
Cons: IBM only cares about earnings per share. Don't for a second believe that any of their core values or social responsibility, work-life etc policies will apply to you if you work there! There is a reason that IBM is highest profit IT services company but doesn't appear in any "best company to work for" list.
In order to be on top of 80% of your work, you'll put in 10 to 14 hrs/day in my region. 100% on top of things means an extra 6 to 8 hours on the weekend. To be proactive on more than a few of the totally critical issues, you'll spend 14+ hrs of the weekend working.
The critical projects/tasks you work on will be totally under-resourced so you can't take leave as if you miss delivery date it will be career limiting. Then you'll be told that you haven't taken your leave by year end so you will lose the leave - not get paid out or anything, it just disappears! So you will delay leave in order to deliver for IBM, you'll be exhausted, lose your social life, be stressed to breaking point so that you can be recognised and move up, but instead your efforts will be unrecognised in any meaningful way, and your leave will be taken away when you need it most.
...and it's getting worse because IBM's new belief is that the cheapest resource is best resource, so when an experienced colleague leaves, they are replaced with the cheapest option. Fine to train up new people on your team, but when *every* new person is a totally new to the workplace, their role and IBM, and doesn't stay long as there is no increase... it places a huge support burden on the dwindling experienced team members (who are still doing their own 10 hr/day job!) When you explain this to your manager, he/she will ignore it as most managers are mostly politicians so don't want to take up a cause unpopular with Execs, and the few that do speak up "coincidentally" don't progress in their careers.
In addition to educating most of your team, you will have hopeless internal services support as those service hubs are similarly staffed & have a massive rate of attrition. In some cases, their responses are so far off the mark that it is easier to take the time to ask colleagues in your network if they had this issue ands how to solve it (now YOU're taking time from your colleagues that they can't afford). If there was any real focus on retaining resources in the hubs so we had experienced support, everyone could be more productive in their own roles.
Maybe when IBM implodes and can no longer maintain the facade of an innovative caring company, the execs will realise that the idea of cheap resources and only caring about the $$$ CAN be taken way too far.
Advice to Senior Management: Focussing on the earnings per share is good, until the cost to IBMers becomes too high. This is not sustainable. The more experienced staff you lose, the lower your service delivery will be. Maybe some clients are stuck in watertight contracts NOW, but as the services gets worse because you're not retaining experienced IBMers, do you think those clients will renew? A bit of focus on SUSTAINABILITY and RETENTION are critical now. Show us that you have some common sense and are not living in ivory towers.
Editor's note: As a still active GBS employee, I give this review a gold star. It describes so well what working in IBM Consulting is like today.
Cons: Senior management is expecting us to do much more with less. New hires do not get enough training before they are put in front of the customer.
Advice to Senior Management: Training! Don't hire people who have no experience and expect us to represent them as "expereinced" to the customer. Eliminate the amount of "blue tape" in the company. I feel like I spend 95% of my time filling out IBM forms/authorizations and 5% doing actual technical work. Also, our customer satisfaction rates are going down (despite no matter how you manipulate or get your feedback data.) We need to invest more in our people to stay competitive. And Sam+Virginia, the '7 year lifecycle' of an employee doesn't do you any good in turnover rates.
Virginia, congrats on your promotion. I hope we see more logical changes inside of IBM. And yes, there still is a market for IT jobs in the US. I recently had a customer come back to the US after being outsourced to India. While outsourcing is a tool, it should not be abused.
The research paper from economists Jeff Brown and Amy Finkelstein describes many reasons why so few people buy long-term care coverage. They focus on two important issues: the effect of Medicaid’s long-term care benefit on people’s decision to buy private insurance, and the pricing and value of those policies. Their paper, in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, concludes that it does not make a lot of sense for people with few assets and little income to buy insurance, since they’ll be covered by Medicaid anyway–a phenomenon economists call “crowd-out.”
But they also find that private LTC insurance is very expensive relative to its benefits. For instance, Jeff and Amy found that 65-year-old buyers of a typical policy would get back only 68 cents for every dollar they pay in premiums. By comparison, the same buyer of a life annuity would get 75 cents to 85 cents. It is also important to note that long-term care insurance is a much better deal for women, who get back 87 cents for every dollar in premium they pay, than for men–who get only 45 cents.
...the U.S. tech sector added 131,000 jobs last year in services and software development, according to Forrester. Although the tech sector provides only 2% of U.S. jobs, these IT jobs represent 6% of the total new private sector jobs created since the first quarter of 2010. ...
IT outsourcing also declined last year by 5,000 jobs, and is down 31,000 jobs from the recession, according to Forrester. Hiring by offshore outsourcers appears brisk; Tata Consultancy Services, for instance, reported this week that it added nearly 12,000 net new employees to its payroll in its most recent quarter.
Social Security offers another important incentive to forestall filing until at least 66. Benefits are reduced permanently for every year that is filed before the FRA, and increased for every year that is waited to file beyond it, up till the age of 70. ...
Married couples can coordinate these decisions to boost benefits through smart navigation of Social Security's survivor and spousal benefits rules. The survivor rules permit widows to receive up to 100% of a deceased spouse's benefit or her own benefit, whichever is greater; the spousal rules permit receiving the greater of her own benefit or up to half of a living spouse's benefit. The survivor rule has a very simple implication for retirement timing decisions: couples usually benefit when the spouse with the higher lifetime earning history (which translates into a bigger Social Security check) delays filing.
In a statement, a Lear spokesman said the bonuses were "customary" and "fully market competitive." The company has since rebounded, adding more than 23,000 jobs since emerging from bankruptcy in 2009. ...
By examining court documents and regulatory filings, The Wall Street Journal was able to determine the pay of executives at 21 of the 100 largest companies that recently went through bankruptcy. Together, the chief executives of those firms earned more than $350 million in salary, bonuses, stock grants and severance for the periods their companies were under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection or just afterward. ...
Today, CEOs earn more than 300 times the average worker's pay, up from 70 times three decades ago, according to data compiled by USC's Mr. Murphy. Skirmishes over executive paydays are likely to continue amid a weak economy as more companies seek bankruptcy protection and try to preserve bonuses for top managers in the process. ...
Bonuses are sometimes paid to executives closing a company's doors for good. Circuit City Stores Inc. won approval, over Justice Department objections, to pay $2.3 million in bonuses to top executives for overseeing the company's liquidation during the height of the financial crisis. The retailer's demise eliminated more than 39,000 jobs. The U.S. Trustee in the case had argued unsuccessfully that Circuit City failed to demonstrate the bonuses were "appropriate" and that the payments were designed to "retain" the executives, making them unlawful.
We commend Governor Cuomo's call to give all New Yorkers an equally important voice in the political process. Like the Governor, we believe that public financing of New York elections will help level the playing field for all candidates and ensure our members' votes matter and their voices are heard. Enacting reform this year will be a enormous step towards removing the many blocks keeping average citizens from participating fully in our Democracy.
Over the coming weeks and months, CWA Members in New York and nationwide will be fighting back against the money in politics that is destroying our democracy; contacting their legislators and demanding reform at the federal and state levels. Corporations are not people, and should not be afforded the opportunity to manipulate the political process in their favor against the interests of middle-class Americans. We hope other leaders will follow Governor Cuomo's bold example and propose similar measures.
Alliance reply: Thanks for your comment. To answer your question, we only gained 3 new members this month. This site gets at least 1600 visits a day, far more than the number of members we have. As mentioned before, membership in the Alliance is confidential. IBM will not get your name. Dues go to a variety of expenses in organizing and our existence, not just this web site. If we are to take on IBM we need a war chest.
The people who created these programs are among the first 73 “innovation advisers” chosen by federal health officials this month to experiment with ways to provide better health care and reduce costs. Funded with $6 million from the health-care overhaul act, the initiative is one of the first programs of the new Innovation Center at the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, known as CMS.
"She was never in one place long enough to qualify. She ended up getting about 10 days' coverage, worth about $1,000," says McClelland, who lives in Falls Church, Va. "That was a lesson to me; I decided it doesn't always pay off."
But liberals are wrong to ignore costs. The more we spend on health care, the less we can spend on other things we value. If liberals care about middle-class salaries, public education and other state-funded services, then they need to care about controlling health care costs every bit as much as conservatives do.
Over the past 30 years, health care inflation has been a major reason average wages have remained stagnant. For employers, the cost of labor is total compensation — wages plus benefits. As the cost of benefits rises, wages tend not to rise, or to rise much more slowly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as health care costs skyrocketed between 2000 and 2009, workers’ total compensation increased by 1.3 percent per year, but workers’ hourly wages alone increased by just 0.7 percent per year, significantly below the rate of inflation.
The newly prescribed drug, Novartis’ Afinitor, is one of the recently approved targeted therapies that have generated a lot of excitement among cancer patients and oncologists in recent years. Drugs that target just the cancer cells promise the same or better results as toxic chemotherapy, but with far fewer side effects.
There was a catch, though. Like many of the latest cancer drugs, Novartis is charging exorbitant amounts for the treatment – in this case, $10,000 per month. That quickly put an end to that possibility for Gralow’s patient. Her monthly co-payment, even after her insurance company agreed to pay its share of the off-label use the drug (the Food and Drug Administration has only approved Afinitor for kidney and pancreatic cancer, not breast cancer), was $2,900.
“She can’t afford this, even though it’s potentially a less toxic and potentially equally effective regimen,” Gralow said. “Chemo will help her, and it’s a reasonable choice. But that choice is 100 percent driven by economics.” ...
But an economic drama that neither side wants to confront is playing itself out in cancer wards and oncologists’ offices across the country. Unaffordable new drugs, even when they’re covered by insurance, are being rationed by price as patients, doctors and hospital officials struggle with what is likely to be the most pressing problem for the nation’s health care system over the next decade: how to pay for the spectacular rise in the cost of cancer care, especially drugs and diagnostic tests.
Primary-care doctors, such as pediatricians and family physicians, often make less than half of what top-paid specialists like orthopedic surgeons earn, and the idea of changing how they are paid has been around for years. Insurers and government agencies are experimenting with a variety of approaches. But WellPoint, with its network of about 100,000 primary-care doctors, could have a much broader influence.
The clearest effect is an increase in health insurance coverage, going from 86.6 percent of adults with health insurance in 2006 to 94.2 percent in 2010. As the above chart shows, most of the coverage gains came in the first two years of the health reform efforts, and have remained relatively stable ever since.
An increase in coverage has correlated with another encouraging trend: a decrease in more costly forms of health coverage, such as emergency room visits. That turns out to be a more recent development, with rates of emergency room visits dropping 3.5 percent between 2009 and 2010.
"But dependency on government has never been bad for the rich. The pretense of the laissez-faire people is that only the poor are dependent on government, while the rich take care of themselves. This argument manages to ignore all of modern history, which shows a consistent record of laissez-faire for the poor, but enormous government intervention for the rich." From Economic Justice: The American Class System, from the book Declarations of Independence by Howard Zinn.
Summers and Shleifer argued back in 1988 that buyouts are often aimed at “value redistribution” rather than “value creation”; specifically, a lot of the gains to the buyout specialists come from breaking implicit contracts with “workers, suppliers, and other corporate stakeholders.”
They make one especially keen point: if it were really about adding efficiency, why do the same people lead takeovers in many industries, instead of people with specific expertise in each industry doing the job? Their answer is that these specialists are specialists in deal-breaking, not value creation.
Jim Surowiecki has more about how that game is played nowadays, with an especially fruitful discussion of the Harry and David’s case. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself). He also notes that often the result of these manipulations is to put taxpayers on the hook.
From 2001 to 2010, US pension plans on average made 4.5 per cent a year, after fees, from their investments in private equity. In that period, the pension funds paid an average 4 per cent of invested capital each year in management fees. On top of those, private equity often collects a variety of other fees and a fifth of investment profits.
“Assuming a normal 20 per cent performance fee, this would amount to about 70 per cent of gross investment performance being paid in fees over the past 10 years,” said Professor Martijn Cremers of Yale.
Selected reader comments concerning this article follow:
(1) by substiuting debt for equity and leveraging up the companies the PE firms get a tax break on the debt which significantly enhances post tax returns.
(2) If a PE investor is only paying 15% tax on the profits then he can outbid a 35% tax payer for the deal but still get a better post tax return.
So a real 35% tax paying business who would actually invest in a target company is outbid by a PE firm who then proceeds to strip the cash and assets out to leverage it up in order to make a short term buck.
Throw in a few pre-package bankruptices and outsourcing to India or China and no wonder the US manufacturing industry is on its last legs.
Meanwhile the PE barons who prosper from these tax breaks (and who completely understand where their disgusting wealth comes from) have the gall to compare politicians to Nazis just because the politicians may take their 15% tax break away. (Historical note for certain PE firm heads - the Nazis are famous for the systematic murder of millions of people, not for their tax policy, and to suggest otherwise is an insult to those who lost their lives).
If the US public elect Mitt Romney then it really would be a triumph of money politics plus gross ignorance over the US's original democratic deals. You can wave goodbye to the American Dream forever because it won't be coming back.
They want to conjure the image of a haberdashery passed down from generation to generation, or of a guy who had a great idea for a gizmo and built a small company to make it. Those enterprises are well worth nurturing, and they do provide jobs. But new research shows that a mere 1 percent of small business owners (there’s that pesky 1 percent again) make more than $1 million a year and only a fourth of the nation’s small businesses pay any wages at all.
So what do those Republicans mean by “small business job creator”? They’re using a conveniently overbroad definition that includes partnerships and S-corporations – like hedge funds, accounting firms, law and lobbying practices and other often very big enterprises in terms of revenue or number of employees. Many of these would be “hurt” by higher taxes only in the sense that their very rich owners would be affected by them. The family farm isn’t on the line.
As always, the event was held in strict secrecy, with members being told that “what happens at the St. Regis stays at the St. Regis.” A reporter, however, was able to walk in unquestioned and observe the proceedings. ...
The Occupy movement was fodder for several after-dinner skits. In one, a documentary filmed during the protests, James Lebenthal, a bond specialist, joked with a protester whose face was appeared to be tattooed. “Go home, wash that off your face, and get back to work,” Mr. Lebenthal told the protester. ...
In another skit, William Mulrow , a senior managing director at the Blackstone Group, put on raggedy clothes to play the part of an Occupy protester. Emil W. Henry Jr., a managing partner at Tiger Infrastructure Partners and a fellow new Kappa, joined him dressed as a wealthy baron.
“Bill, look at you! You’re pathetic, you liberal! You need a bath!” Mr. Henry said, voice full of mock indignation.
“You callow, insensitive Republican!” Mr. Mulrow said. “Don’t you know we need to create jobs?” ...
The night’s agenda was twofold: install officers for the coming year and haze incoming members by having them don wigs, gold-sequined skirts and skin-tight tops and put on a comedic variety show for the enjoyment of other members. Among the 21 inductees featured in the variety show were Marc Lasry, the billionaire founder of the Avenue Capital Group, Warren Stephens, the chief of Stephens Inc. and Ted Virtue, the chief executive of MidOcean Partners. ...
While they may not want to attract attention publicly, the members of Kappa Beta Phi are privately finding humor in their vilification. As the night’s musical finale, the entire group of inductees changed into white dress shirts and dark ties to sing a parody of “I Believe,” a song from the hit Broadway show “The Book of Mormon.” In the original version of the song, a down-and-out Mormon missionary offers a passionate defense of his faith. On this night, though, the financiers turned it into a playful paean to their industry. (“I believe that the Lord God created Wall Street. I believe he got his only son a job at Goldman Sachs.”)
According to his 2010 return, Romney paid about $3 million to the IRS, for an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent. ...
Because the bulk of Romney’s income flows from investment profits, it is taxed at a flat 15 percent rate, far below the highest rates on ordinary wages. ...
The returns confirm, however, that Romney continues to benefit from his association with Bain Capital, the private-equity firm he founded in 1984 and left in 1999. His earnings through Bain have drawn controversy because they are treated as capital gains rather than wages and thus benefit from being taxed at the lower rate of 15 percent.
Critics say such income, known as “carried interest,” should not be counted as investment earnings because private-equity partners are mostly relying on the money of others rather than their own. The returns show that Romney earned more than $13 million in “carried interest” over the past two years.
As Alex Seitz-Wald at ThinkProgress highlights in his rundown of facts about the Romney tax returns:
Romney paid a lower tax rate than many middle-class Americans: Romney’s returns reveal that he paid an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent, lower even than the low rate of 15 percent he estimated he paid last week. While this is far less than what many middle-class Americans pay, it’s also well below what wealthy people pay. The average effective tax rate for someone in Romney’s income bracket is 25 percent.
Mr. Gingrich, who on Saturday won the Republican presidential primary in South Carolina, released his own tax returns last week showing that he and his wife, Callista, had an adjusted gross income of $3,162,424 from their various business ventures in 2010. They paid $994,708 in federal tax, according to the return, for an effective tax rate of 31.7 percent.
Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, released their tax returns in April, showing an adjusted gross income of $1,728,096 for 2010 — much of it from sales of his books “Dreams From My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope.” The Obamas paid $453,770 in federal taxes, for an effective tax rate of 26.3 percent. ...
In a memorandum to reporters on Sunday, Bill Burton, a former deputy press secretary to Mr. Obama, hammered Mr. Romney for his initial unwillingness to release his returns. “Even though he is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, Romney pays a lower tax rate than many middle class Americans,” said Mr. Burton, who now runs a “super PAC” on behalf of Mr. Obama. “Romney also has access to complicated legal maneuvers involving offshore accounts and retirement savings that simply are not available to everyday Americans,” Mr. Burton said.
Newt Gingrich, the candidate with the momentum after a resounding win in the South Carolina primary and a string of positive poll numbers, has been stepping up his attacks on Mr Romney over his tax returns. “You have to live in a world of Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island accounts and making $20m for no work, to have some fantasy this far from reality,” Mr Gingrich said during a forum in Miami hosted by Univision, the Spanish language television channel.
"If this is a war, my side has had the nuclear bomb," Buffett told ABC News. "We've got K Street and lobbyists. We've got money on our side in terms of contributions." "Deb doesn't have the lobbyists. She doesn't have anyone remotely representing her." ...
Buffett's remark echos previous comments, such as when he described the battle between rich and poor as "a rout," his side victorious. The tax issue was highlighted again this week when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his tax returns. Romney's returns indicate that in 2010, he paid taxes at about a 14 percent rate -- even lower than Buffett.
Taxes and tax rates have been a hot-button issue in recent years as a way to pay for an increase in government spending and a rising deficit and debt. And in recent days, tax rates have gotten even more attention due to the release of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's tax returns which show he paid less than 14 percent in taxes on $21.7 million of income in 2010 because his income came from investments rather than a salary. ...
The idea was named after billionaire Warren Buffett after he pointed out that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary because the capital gains tax on investment income is 15 percent, far less than the highest tax bracket of 35 percent. Buffett's secretary, Debbie Bosanek, was among First Lady Michelle Obama's guests for the State of the Union speech.
The real reason that we should be concerned about private equity’s expanding power lies in the way these firms have become increasingly adept at using financial gimmicks to line their pockets, deriving enormous wealth not from management or investing skills but, rather, from the way the U.S. tax system works. Indeed, for an industry that’s often held up as an exemplar of free-market capitalism, private equity is surprisingly dependent on government subsidies for its profits. Financial engineering has always been central to leveraged buyouts. In a typical deal, a private-equity firm buys a company, using some of its own money and some borrowed money. It then tries to improve the performance of the acquired company, with an eye toward cashing out by selling it or taking it public. The key to this strategy is debt: the model encourages firms to borrow as much as possible, since, just as with a mortgage, the less money you put down, the bigger your potential return on investment. The rewards can be extraordinary: when Romney was at Bain, it supposedly earned eighty-eight per cent a year for its investors. But piles of debt also increase the risk that companies will go bust.
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