Thursday, January 22, 2015

We want to pay you to go away

Today Barbara was scheduled to go thru her pre-retirement class with the HR section at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) where she works.

They told her to bring a copy of our marriage certificate, a copy of MY birth certificate and ME.

Turns out that the pension she gets can be passed on to me should she pass away before me. Cool!

This will be her THIRD pension and she still hasn't got her Social Security sorted out yet, she's not even retired! After all our working lives where I out earned her, now I think she will now be out earning me in retirement. 

God bless her. 
Now she can keep me in luxury as I deserve.

The whole process was very pleasant and informative. 

I don't think mine will be as pleasant. That's if there even IS one. My company was bought out several years back and thru total lack of control of overhead, the management has succeeded in driving the shares down from $40 a share to $2.30. Takes a REAL team in upper management to accomplish that.

I was lucky in that I realized early that the shares were headed down and not likely to come back. They are not publicly traded so you can't sell them to anyone except the company, and they aren't obliged to buy them or to pay the price fixed by the auditors.

Sweet deal for them as they CAN sell their shares and they even have "Phantom Shares" if you read the company prospectus. 

My way out was the clause that let me get 20% a year out for 5 years after I had a combination of 15 years service and 50 years of age. Even then they didn't give me the full 20% each year, only what they decided to give me back of my own money

My own money? Oh yes when the management announced we could buy ourselves out from our parent company years ago. We paid for it with money from our 401K funds to form an ESOP (Employee Stock Option Plan). We would be the owners of the company. There would be no employee representation on the board however and the shares had no voting rights.

Some people went crazy and put huge chunks of their retirement in. I considered the risks and only put in what they had matched as part of my benefits. When we were sold out (NOT BOUGHT OUT) the new company took our shares and gave us double the number of shares in the new company which was also an ESOP. 

I sincerely believe that this was a scam worked between our old board of directors and the new company. We were cash rich at the time and we had been suggesting they pay dividends as there was so much cash in the bank. They told us they were getting ready to make a strategic purchase so we would grow. Instead the new company took us over and sucked up all that cash. The board of directors all left with bulging pockets and we watched the shares start to shrink.

So beware of strangers bearing gifts!!

There is no pension plan from this company unless you consider that they give a minimal amount annually which goes into our 401K plans. IN COMPANY STOCK.

My plans were centered on 401K contributions but no company stock. They continued to try and coax employees to buy stock as part of their retirement savings right up until they revalued it at $2.30. The little I have left in stock they won't let me cash out. I suppose I'll get it when I retire if it's worth anything at all.

But I will get a UK pension and Social Security so I won't be completely broke.

So as yet nobody has offered to pay me to go away!!


  1. The twists and turns along the way.... Very familiar with those!!!

    The ultimate reward and upshot is that you will soon be FREE!!!

  2. Darned right Wayne!
    Your blog is making my hitch itch like there is no tomorrow!
    Where you lead we will follow.
    See ya soon we hope