UCOP to Host Town Hall Meetings on Benefits at UCSF

Representatives from the UC Office of the President (UCOP) will be hosting town hall meetings at UCSF on October 22 and 25 to discuss the proposed changes to retirement benefits.

These town halls are intended to provide members of the UC community with an opportunity to learn more about the proposed changes and to ask questions and share concerns about the recommendations that are being considered.

The meetings are scheduled for:

  • Friday, Oct. 22, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the Mission Bay campus, Genentech Hall Auditorium

  • Monday, Oct. 25, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Parnassus campus, Cole Hall

The same content will be covered in both sessions and more than half of the time will be devoted to a Q&A session. These two town hall meetings will be webcast and archived. Information on how to access the webcasts will be available soon.

UCSF managers and supervisors are strongly encouraged to allow employees (as schedules allow) to attend one of the meetings, to view a webcast or to view the archived version during work time.

Employees may view one of the webcasts at their desks (for employees who have computer access) or, as operationally feasible, managers may choose to set-up conference rooms for employees without direct computer access. Transcripts also will be made available.

UCOP has developed four “fast facts” documents that provide a brief overview of what will and will not be changing regarding future benefits. These are as follows:

Other resources about this topic are available at the UCOP website.

Employee, Employer Contributions Increase

The UC Regents on Sept. 16 voted unanimously to increase the amount UC and its employees contribute to the pension plan.
Beginning in July 2011, employee members of the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) will begin contributing 3.5 percent of salary into the plan; UC will contribute 7 percent. The amount will increase again in July 2012, with employees paying 5 percent and UC paying 10 percent.

The new contribution levels are subject to collective bargaining for represented employees. The Regents’ actions do not change employees’ pension benefits, only the amount they and the university pay toward the cost.

The Regents’ action comes as the University begins to address significant unfunded liabilities in both its pension and retiree health programs.

As recently as 2007, the pension program had a funding surplus. In fact, neither UC nor its employees contributed anything to the UCRP for 20 years, after Regents suspended contributions in 1990 when the surplus was growing.

Contributions resumed in spring 2010, but by then a combination of factors – including changing demographics, market losses during 2008-2009 and a decline in state funding support – had led to a pension plan deficit.

To keep the funding gap from growing larger, UC administrators told the Regents that it was vital for contributions to quickly begin covering the full amount needed each year to pay for the program.

Increasing UCRP contributions was one of several recommendations from the Post-Employment Benefits Task Force. President Yudof appointed the task force in March 2009, charging it with developing recommendations that would ensure UC’s retiree health and pension benefits are both financially sustainable and market competitive. Under the current structure, the unfunded liability for the two programs is $21 billion, roughly the size of UC’s annual budget.

The president is considering the other task force recommendations, as well as those contained in a “dissenting statement” issued by a group of members who disagreed with some task force recommendations. He also is soliciting feedback from UC faculty, staff and retirees. Yudof will likely submit his proposals to the Regents for discussion in November, with the board taking action at a special meeting in December.

Related Links:

UC Benefits Town Hall Meeting Posted on the Web
UCSF Today, September 29, 2010

UC Regents Vote to Increase Pension Contributions
UCSF Today, September 21, 2010