Are there specific concerns about pension plan #0242727?
Q. Are there specific concerns regarding the pension plan?
A. Subject to the above comments, there is no short answer to this question and yes there are concerns considering the current shortfall. Our pension plan is "protected" by various legislated provisions and the applicable government agencies are charged with responsibility to ensure compliance with these provisions. At the same time, a study of these provisions indicate there are "cracks" in the system that could have serious negative consequences. A case in point is the significant shortfall suffered by the Nortel pensioners. No amount of legislation or regulations was able to protect this group.
The opportunity for pension plans to develop funding problems is very real despite the legislation that exists, and the question of current benefits continuity involves an even more worrisome area of concern. Thus it is believed that there are benefits to having the situation monitored by knowledgeable and informed individuals.
Does INVISTA have a Pension Plan Advisory Committee (PAC)?
Q. I understand that a number of plans have a Pension Plan Advisory Committee (PAC) which includes representatives from both the employees and the pensioners groups. Does INVISTA have such a committee and are pensioners represented?
A. You are correct that such committees exist in a number of instances. Bill 236 which received royal assent in May 2010 required the formation of a five person PAC; two of which are to be retirees. However, as at year-end year 2013, promulgation of the regulations remain outstanding. We are led to believe that this will occur by mid-year 2014. When it does, INVISTA will be required to form such a committee and the retirees will be represented.
Has the plan experienced any setbacks?
Q. Has our pensioner group experienced any actual "setbacks" since the change of pension plan and benefit sponsorship?
A. When the plan was transferred from DuPont to INVISTA, it was fully funded. However, at the most recent actuarial filing (February 2013), the plan is approximately 36% underfunded on a solvency basis. However, to be fair to INVISTA, global capital markets since 2008 have experienced both volatile equity returns and near all time low interest rates. The combination of these situations has a significant negative impact on not only our pension plan but all other Defined Benefit pension plans. It should also be noted that INVISTA contributed $58 M to the plan in 2013 and will increase the funding to over $ 60M for both the next two years.
How does DIPAC reflect on the relationship with INVISTA (Canada)?
Q. How does the existence of this association reflect on the relationship of the pensioners with INVISTA(Canada)?
A. While we were active employees our involvement in the company's ongoing businesses allowed us to "sense" the state of the relationship between the company and its employees and pensioners. We also had at any point in time a "sense" of the future. Now that we are retired and outside the main stream, we find ourselves less informed. While the Pensioner Hotline arrangement provides a facility for us to inquire as to the personal concerns and questions we may have, many of us have found this does not fully provide the level of information we would prefer. The formation of an association provides an opportunity for us to communicate with each other, to exchange views, and to collectively pursue common issues and concerns. It is not intended that this arrangement detract from the relationship of individual pensioners with INVISTA (Canada) but rather that it supplement that relationship.
Is DIPAC a "club" like other organizations?
Q. In some cases fellow-pensioners in various retirement locations have organized into "clubs" of various sorts. Is DIPAC similar to these organizations?
A. We are aware of such organizations. They apparently exist primarily for socializing purposes and as a means for those involved to maintain contact with one another. For a period such an organization, the DuPont Association of Retired Employees (DARE), was active in the Kingston area. And currently in the Mississauga/Oakville/Toronto area, a group known as the DuPont Alumni Club (DAC) is active. We also understand a group is active in the Shawinigan area.
While these organizations and DIPAC have the pensioner group as a common component, DIPAC has no affiliation with these organizations and exists for a completely different purpose. Please visit the Mission and Mandate sections of this web site for further elaboration.
Website Upgrade 2014
Over the last number of months, we have been working on upgrading the DIPAC website. Our goals were to:
- provide a more current look
- enhance website navigation
- have the website scale for different devices
- provide online membership payments
- manage membership subscriptions online
- provide an online BLOG to keep members updated informally
- enhance the newsletter functions to improve communications
This new website meets all of these goals and includes added security features.
Why does this pensioner group need an organized association?
Q. Why does this pensioner group need an organized association?
A. In the past our pension plan and benefits were under the sponsorship of a public company and as a result information was readily available that indicated the company's financial status. This allowed pensioners to make an informed judgement regarding the continuity of their pension and benefit security since these are directly impacted by the company's financial health. With the sponsorship of the pension plan and benefits having become the responsibility of INVISTA(Canada), the opportunity for informed judgement has ceased to exist since the financial status of the new sponsor is no longer publically available for review. As a result a much more organized approach is necessary if we are to continue to monitor the status of our pension plan and the possibility of serious problems developing. This task is best performed under the umbrella of an association rather than individually.