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Ashland Inc. Message Board

  • greendog03 greendog03 Dec 7, 2008 10:04 AM Flag

    Underfunded pension to go along with all the other poor management

    Barons mention that ash has an underfunded pension that will need contributions next year. Just another reason why you don't want to own this stock until management shows they have some sort of plan. It's like when bush went into Iraq never had a plan once they got there.

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    • Sorry for your misfortune mate...but please, stop with the Christian bashing.

      BTW...if I was your age and in such a predicament, I would try and work a way to go back to school for a 2-year degree in nursing (might take 3 years) I admit at first it sounds a bit gay for a guy...but there are lots of guys in nursing, not all gay. There is tremendous demand and many areas to specialize in if one doesn't fit the stereotypical 'nurturing' going for a dialysis or operating room niche.

      The money is great, 12-hour shifts, often lots of overtime available as well due to the nursing shortage. Very tough to be out of work and middle to you.

    • Treating you like a low life dog? Uh, no, I was simply 'posting the truth as I saw it'.

      You would lose your bet, btw.

    • pennyparadise Dec 9, 2008 7:41 AM Flag

      And if you were a good person and a fair person, you wouldn't be treating me like a low life dog, since I did nothing to deserve that. I don't think I should be provoked to anger for simply telling the truth as I see it. All I ever heard was what a great job I had. Was it? Was it really?

      Even if they had a clearly written handbook on the subject (which I have never seen, and I saved virtually everything), I certainly did not plan on being downsized. I did my job with 100% enthusiasm. I bet you went all the way to retirement. See, I was not allowed to. It's so very easy to plan when you are not interrupted. I was putting away 16% of my salary before I was thrown to the wolves. I would like to see what you would do if you lost your job at 43 and the only job you could get was a 50% pay cut. I think I have done pretty damn well considering the rug was jerked out from under me. It's people like you who fill the church pews and think that God favors them because they kept their jobs. I used to be like you.

    • Bluto - good analysis on the LESOP connection to Barron's premise on the ASH pension liability. Thanks for laying it out.

    • It is perfectly ok to have an "underfunded" pension plan. Very few companies fully fund the plan vs current and anticipated payout because people quit, people die, etc before collecting. However there comes a point where the government says you need to pony up more because you are in risk of being unable to pay current liabilities . I think that is the point Barron's is making. And in the case of ASH it makes sense they would be in this predicament. A high percentage of employess have defined pension payouts contingent on LESOP balance. If LESOP balance is high then lower portion of defined benefit needs to be picked up by the company at time of retirement. If LESOP balance is low then the company needs to kick in more to cover defined pension differential again at time of individual employee retirement. This is why there is the LESOP cash-in penalty if you take the whole LESOP you lose a portion of your annual payout. When the stock goes from $50 plus to $9 and there are a lot of employees that might retire especially when you are cutting jobs and going through the upheaval ASH has. That is a lot of coin to make up not to mention the other investments that are all in the toilet as well.

    • pennyparadise Dec 8, 2008 7:29 AM Flag

      Bearing in mind that I'm not an accountant... I think it has always been underfunded. They used to send us statements in the 80's...."Your Benefits" or something like that. It showed a dollar amount that we could expect to get at retirement. And at the end, "you would have to save (THIS MUCH) to duplicate the company's plan". I got to thinking very seriously about that one day. So I sat down and figured, if I only spent $10,000 a year... how long would that amount of money last me?

      Best I could figure, I had better only live ten years past retirement.

      Eh, these guys have always been skimpy, that's nothing new. The only difference is, now we don't put as much blind trust in them as we did in the good old days.

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