Thread regarding ConocoPhillips layoffs

Severance/retirement

Made this comment, but in the wrong place. Those who received severance packages and retirement benefits better hang on to their severance. Pensions are not guaranteed. Bankruptcy can make your blessed pension disappear.

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The ConocoPhillips pension is a defined benefit plan.

Workers in bankruptcy situations face two important issues when it comes to their retirement benefits: access to pension benefits and the continued safety of their pension assets. Generally, your pension assets should not be at risk when a business declares bankruptcy, because ERISA requires that promised pension benefits be adequately funded and that pension monies be kept separate from an employer’s business assets and held in trust or invested in an insurance contract. Thus, if an employer declares bankruptcy, the retirement funds should be secure from the company’s creditors. In addition, plan fiduciaries must comply with the ERISA provisions that prohibit the mismanagement and abuse of plan assets. If contributions to a plan have been withheld from your pay, you may want to confirm that the amounts deducted have been forwarded to the plan’s trust or insurance contract.

In addition, some pension benefits may be insured by the Federal Government. Traditional plans (defined benefit plans) are protected by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), a Federal Government corporation. If a plan is terminated because an employer has financial difficulty and cannot fund the plan, and the plan does not have enough money to pay the promised benefits, the PBGC will assume responsibility for the plan. The PBGC pays benefits after termination up to a certain maximum guaranteed amount. On the other hand, defined contribution plans, such as 401(k) plans, are not insured by the PBGC.

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- I think our pensions are protected from external factors (Pension Corp or something like that)

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Scenario:

  • we have our first global recession in 8-yrs in 2016

  • no oil demand growth

  • 25% loss on stock market

  • everyone else unlocks oil shale

HR, any comments regarding the security of the COP pension?

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To the "shouldn't you be looking" post, one does not need to be in HR or Legal to Google ConocoPhillips pension.

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The pension(s) are in fact guaranteed by the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. And the ConocoPhillips pension(s) are well funded. Few pension are 100% funded and the % varies due to the investments involved with the pensions. As a rule pensions invest conservatively.

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Thanks for clarification HR and/or Legal. Shouldn't you be looking for people to layoff instead of posting links on this site?

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