Changes to pension plans voted on by UFCW members working under our West Virginia contract, Richmond/Tidewater contract, and Roanoke contract were officially ratified last month after all votes were counted across the country.
For members working under our Kroger West Virginia contract and meat cutters working under our Roanoke contract, the newly ratified agreement:
- Provides a $1.84 billion employer contribution to the pension plan which will help ensure that any benefits you have earned are protected and help enable the plan to be well-funded for many years to come;
- Establishes a new future service pension plan which is similar to the current plan, but lowers the amount of returns needed from investments to maintain benefits;
- Provides a bridge to transition members to the new plan with minimal disruption;
- Maintains current contribution levels.
For members working under our Richmond/Tidewater contract and clerks working under our Roanoke contract, the newly ratified extension includes the following terms:
- 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.
If you have additional questions about the vote results, please do not hesitate to contact us. If you have questions about your individual pension benefit, contact the appropriate Pension Fund Office listed in our Health & Welfare Benefits Directory.
Pension Office Phone Numbers:
For members working under our Kroger West Virginia contract and meat cutters working under our Roanoke contract:
UFCW International Union Industry Pension Fund (Chicago Fund), 800-531-2385
For members working under our Richmond/Tidewater contract and clerks working under our Roanoke contract:
Consolidated Pension Fund, 800-241-7701