April 28, 2020
RE: PENSION UPDATE
Dear UFCW Member,
We are writing to update you on the status of the Oregon Retail Employees Pension Trust (OREPT) in which you are a participant. In 2019, the status of your OREPT was healthy (green).
By design, pension plans like the OREPT are heavily invested in the United States’ Equity and Bond Markets as well other equity markets around the world. Since COVID-19 hit American soil, almost all financial markets have taken a beating not seen in decades. There is no question that these losses will leave your plan underfunded and require additional funding to remain solvent. We anticipated that market volatility would require additional funding in the future.
Last year during our historic negotiations for Gender Pay Equity, we negotiated additional money to fund your plan if needed. An additional 23¢ per hour will be paid by your employer as needed in 2021, 2022, and 2023. We are very pleased to have negotiated these increases prior to them being needed because they will help mitigate investment losses. We are now in the process of making sure these contributions are applied as bargained in order to secure your OREPT pension fund.
When you receive your yearly notice of funding from the Trust, you will see the plan is going from healthy (green) to critical (red). Because of successful contract negotiations, we have new contributions from the Employers to help us return to healthy status (green) and make up for stock market losses.
As always, we will continue to keep you informed on what’s going on with your union, your trust plans, and our fight for a secure future.