If you work at Kroger under our Richmond/Tidewater contract, or if you are a clerk (not a meat cutter) working under our Roanoke contract, there is an important upcoming vote on a proposed extension of your pension plan.

This proposed extension includes an improvement to your disability benefit along with some minor, technical changes to the way Kroger pays into your plan. These changes will make sure your pension fund remains healthy and in the “green zone” throughout the proposed three-year extension. The dates and times of the votes are listed below.

We fully support this extension and encourage you to vote for it. It continues Kroger’s commitment to fund your pension and improves your disability benefit. As always, that decision is up to you. Because this is part of an agreement involving other locals around the country, it will only be approved if every local ratifies it. We will let you know the results of the vote here and in other parts of the country once it is completed.

Please carefully read the complete information below. If you have additional questions about the proposed extension, please do not hesitate to contact us. If you have questions about your individual pension benefit, contact the Pension Fund Office at 1-800-241-7701.

In 2011, Local Union Officers and Pension Fund Trustees developed a plan to build a bigger, stronger pension fund to improve and secure your pension benefits, which was overwhelmingly ratified by the membership. That 2011 agreement resulted in the merger of four UFCW pension funds to form the UFCW Consolidated Pension Fund. In the almost 9 years since the 2011 Memorandum of Understanding (or MOU) created the Consolidated Fund, Kroger has made contributions to the Pension Fund of over $1.7 billion dollars to secure your benefits. The 2011 MOU is due to expire at the end of next year, but the Local Union Officers and Pension Fund Trustees have negotiated a three-year extension of the 2011 MOU, so that it will expire on January 1, 2025, instead of January 1, 2022, and recommend that you ratify this extension. Note that this extension must be approved by all of the affected Locals or it will not take effect.

Here are the terms of the extension:

  • The disability benefit is improved by reducing the number of years needed to be eligible for disability pension from 20 years to 10 years.
  • Pension benefits members earn continue to increase as wages increase. The pension formula is 0.75% of pay for the first 5 years and 1.0% of pay for all years after 5. All pay counts for pension purposes, including overtime, hero pay, pre-tax deductions, etc. With the pay-based formula, whenever you get a pay increase or you increase your hours, your pension benefit automatically increases.
  • Current benefits of senior employees remain protected (grandfathered). Members who were Tier I or vested Tier 2 in the Atlanta Fund before January 1, 2012, continue to earn a pension under “grandfather” rules – the greater of the formula before January 1, 2012, or the pay-based formula, same as before the extension.
  • Kroger remains responsible for paying enough contributions to keep the Pension Fund well-funded and in the “green zone.” The technical funding rules change to a “thermostat” approach and are based on contributions targeting a funding ratio range of between 90% and 95%. Currently contributions fluctuate based on a static funding target with faster funding when assets fall below 85%.
  • Additional technical changes:
    • Kroger will provide information about the Fund’s investments to the Locals.
    • The separate calculations of funding and contributions for Kroger members from other pension funds brought into the Consolidated Fund will be combined.
    • Kroger or a Local can propose a future new group to bring into the Fund.

While your union recommends this tentative agreement, it is ultimately your decision whether this agreement is ratified. Your vote on this proposal will decide if it goes into effect.

Please note:

  • This vote is only available to Local 400 members working as under our Kroger Richmond/Tidewater contract or members working as clerks (not meat cutters) under our Kroger Roanoke contract.
  • This vote will ONLY be on changes to the national pension plan and is separate from the rest of the Kroger union contract.

 

Voting Schedule: Kroger Richmond/Tidewater Members

Masks must be worn at all times while voting. Voting is open at each location from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Kroger #514, 7000 Tim Price Way, North Chesterfield, VA 23225
Kroger #517, 11895 W. Broad St., Richmond, VA 23233
Kroger #555, 5007-2 Victory Blvd., Yorktown, VA 23693

 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Kroger #500, 9480 W. Broad St., Richmond, VA 23294
Kroger #523, 14101 Midlothian Turnpike, Midlothian, VA 23113
Kroger #532, 4625 Shore Dr., Virginia Beach, VA 23455

 

Thursday, October 29, 2020
Kroger #501, 2821 Hicks Rd., Richmond, VA 23235
Kroger #504, 3507 W. Cary St., Richmond, VA 23221
Kroger #511, 901 N. Lombardy St., Richmond, VA 23220

 

 

Voting Schedule: Kroger Roanoke Clerks

Masks must be worn at all times while voting. Voting is open at each location from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Kroger #328, 1664 E Stone Dr., Kingsport, TN 37660
Kroger #334, 1980 Rio Hill Center, Charlottesville, VA 22901
Kroger #375, 3971 Brambleton Ave., Roanoke, VA 24018

 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Kroger #226, 1477 W. Main St., Salem, VA 24153
Kroger #316, 1229 Stafford Dr., Princeton, WV 24740
Kroger #343, 850 Statler Blvd., Staunton, VA 24401

 

Thursday, November 5, 2020
Kroger #377, 15069 Forest Rd., Forest, VA 24551
Kroger #391, 3970 Valley Gateway Blvd., Roanoke, VA 24012
Kroger #402, 1322 S. Main St., Blacksburg, VA 24060