A lot more people have ownership in the pension than they realize. All SPEEA-represented individuals (including new hires) in the Prof and Tech collective bargaining agreements are currently earning The Boeing Company Employee Retirement Plan (BCERP) defined benefit pension.
This contract-negotiated benefit sends a monthly payment to eligible employees upon retirement.
The vast majority of employees hired before August 2008 became fully vested in May 2012. Even if you don't stay at Boeing, you will still receive the benefits you earned during your Boeing working years when you reach the normal retirement age of the plan.
The benefit for this year's retirees is the greater of 1) $83 for each year of BCERP Credited Service or 2) an alternate formula based primarily on final average earnings and credited service. For a 30-year career, this translates to at least $2,490 a month, regardless of stock market conditions, for the rest of your life.
Vesting refers to your eligibility for the pension and can be found on page 8 of the BCERP Summary Plan description. The following is an excerpt from this document.
In general you start earning vesting service when you begin your employment with the Company. Generally, you earn one year of vesting service for each Plan year (January 1 through December 31) in which you have at least 1,000 hours of service. If you have fewer than 1,000 hours of service in the Plan year, the year will not be counted for vesting.
For nearly 60 years, Boeing has contributed to the pension fund. As of the 2011 Annual Funding Notice, the plan has more than $13.8 billion in total plan assets. Even with the 'Great Recession' and the recent years of no- cash contributions by Boeing, the plan still has a 100% Funding Target Attainment Percentage (FTAP) based on total plan assets.
When eligible SPEEA-represented employees decide that it is time to retire, the BCERP defined benefit pension will be a valuable part of their retirement income – a benefit negotiated by SPEEA.
In the September Spotlite, look for an article on 'What is your pension worth – the value of the BCERP'
The chart below shows a wave of employees about to retire, but there is another wave of fully vested employees directly behind them who will also have a defined benefit pension they can count on.