The NRLN John Deere Retirees Chapter
Although JDRO – A Family of John Deere Retirees has dissolved, the National Retirees Legislative Network (NRLN) is continuing its long relationship with John Deere retirees by forming the John Deere Retirees Chapter. The NRLN is continuing to serve as a voice for you in Washington, DC on issues such as the following:
- Pension Plan De-risking – Many employers are converting pension plans to insurance annuities. When “de-risking” occurs with the purchase of an annuity, pension plan participants lose the protection of federal laws. The NRLN is lobbying for a bill to be introduced with its proposal that annuity contracts require reinsurance to protect retirees if the primary insurer fails. (See below for the NRLN’s review of John Deere’s latest pension plan Annual Funding Notice.)
- Social Security – The Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) will only be able to pay 100% of total scheduled benefits until 2033. At that time, the program’s income will only be sufficient to pay 77% of scheduled benefits. The NRLN is lobbying Congress to strengthen funding for Social Security.
- Medicare – The Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund (Medicare Part A) will only be able to pay 100% of scheduled benefits until 2031. At that point, the program’s income will only be sufficient to pay 89% of scheduled benefits. The NRLN is urging Congress to strengthen funding for Medicare.
- Medigap Plan Prices – The NRLN urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to post prices by zip code for Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap). CMS has done that. To learn how to get the best price for a Medigap plan watch the NRLN’s video on this website’s home page.
- Prescription Drugs – NRLN is advocating: (1) Medicare increase the number of prescription drugs it will negotiate price reductions. (2) End pay-for-delay and other tactics that keep generics off the market. (3) Allow Americans to import prescription drugs from licensed Canadian sellers.
NRLN Proposals Passed in 2022 –
(1) Improvements to pension plan Annual Funding Notice.
(2) Changes to Section 420 transfers that can protect retiree healthcare and life insurance.
(3) Limit retirees’ exposure to pension recoupment of over-payments to 3 years rather than unlimited years; may not recoup more than 10% of overpayment per year, and it may not recoup against a beneficiary.
JOHN DEERE’S Pension Plan Is Strong
Recently, you received an Annual Funding Notice (AFN) for plan year 2022. The NRLN is busy comparing 2022 with 2012 AFN data and reporting results and observations to it’s associations and chapters. Below are 2012 vs 2022 comparisons for your John Deere plan:
- Plan Participants – up 10%, from 33,299 in 2012 to 36,788 in 2022 – good news!
- Funding Levels – Displayed on AFN tables – without adjusted interest rates, funding decreased to 86.4%; with actuarily adjusted rates (in place since 2011), funding grew to 120.39%. However, these actuarial data can overstate funding levels and they are based on data as of the first day of the plan year, data is 16-months old when you receive your AFN.
The Fair Market Value (FMV) of Year-End Assets and Liabilities (see page page3 of the AFN) is the most reliable funding assessment, based on market asset values and market interest rates on the last day of the plan year; just 4 months old on your AFN. The John Deere plan FMV 2012 funding level of 96.9% ballooned to 146.2% in 2022 – Really good news!
John Deere de-risked 50% of plan assets since 2012. If needed they could voluntarily terminate (total de-risking) the plan, annuitize pensions, thus reduce liabilities by $8.0 billion and use $2.5 of billion plan surplus-assets elsewhere.
“Support NRLN’s Pension Plan De-Risking proposal to protect annuitized pensions.”
Learn How to Choose a MediGap Plan
Medigap Plan Prices – The NRLN urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to post prices by zip code for Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap). CMS has done that. To learn how to get the best price for a Medigap plan watch the NRLN’s video on this website’s home page.