Sept. 2, 2020 - We have received many calls since Boeing announced the latest Voluntary Layoff (VLO) last week. Below is additional information for members who may be considering the VLO.
VLO & Boeing Pension
For those considering Boeing’s Voluntary Layoff, we want to be sure members understand the potential ramifications a VLO could have on drawing their pension, which factors in both age and years of service. The following information is taken from information in the BCERP Plan Document, which governs the pension plan that covers our members at Boeing.
At the time of layoff, if you are:
- Younger than 55 years old, with less than 10 years of service: You will not be able to commence your pension until you are 62 years old, and will have an early retirement penalty of 6% per year for every year under age 65.
- Younger than 49 years old, with at least 10 years of service: You will be able to commence your pension any time after turning 55. Since you are not in the age category to retire within the next six years, when you go to draw your pension you will be considered a vested former employee. This means your pension would be reduced by 6% per year for every year under age 65.
- Between 49 and 51 years old, with at least 10 years of service: You will be able to commence your pension any time after turning 55. Your early retirement penalty will be 2% per year for every year under age 58, if you commence your pension within the 6-year bridge following layoff.
- Between 52 and 54 years old, with at least 10 years of service: You will be able to commence your pension any time after turning 55. Your early retirement penalty will be 2% per year for every year under age 58. You could also wait until age 58 and commence during your 6-year bridge period following layoff, to receive an unreduced early retirement benefit.
- 55 or older with any years of service: You may commence your pension the first of the month following your date of layoff and if you are younger than 58 there will be a 2% reduction for every year under 58. You could also wait until age 58 and commence during your layoff period, to receive an unreduced early retirement benefit.
In order to request an estimate, members can contact the Boeing Pension Service Center through Worklife and request an estimate of their pension benefit using different commencement dates. Estimates on retiree medical costs can be obtained through the Health & Insurance tab within WorkLife, as well.
Unemployment Insurance (UI) & Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)
Unemployment Insurance (UI), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program all have specific eligibility requirements. Laid off Boeing workers, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, are able to apply for these programs but eligibility is never guaranteed without case-by-case analysis by the Washington State Employment Security Department and/or a TAA Counselor. That said, there are certain things to consider:
- If you are receiving a pension or drawing from other retirement funds, like your 401(k) from the company you were laid off from, your weekly UI and/or PUA benefit could be reduced and may not be available.
- Job search requirements for UI and PUA are only temporarily waived and could be reinstated at any time.
- PUA, the federal program, expanded eligibility for UI to non-traditional workers and for some COVID-related job loss scenarios. It is also temporary and will expire without further action from Congress.
- TAA training is intended to get a laid off worker gainfully re-employed. Approval for training includes, among other things, evaluating an individual’s current skills and employability and the probability that the training they pursue will lead to employment.
More information about UI/PUA can be found at: https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment
More information about TAA can be found at: https://esd.wa.gov/about-employees/TAA-FAQ
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