mast
buttons
NRLN Home Page Sign Up to Receive Important Messages
or Update Your Email Address
Contribute
to the NRLN
Write Personal Email to
Your Members of Congress
Respond to an
ACTION ALERT

Enroll – If you are enrolled you should be receiving our emails directly, otherwise click here to enroll. Enter contact information. In “Name of Retiree Association or Chapter” window, scroll down to “NRLN DuPont Retirees Chapter” near the bottom. Click on box to “Receive NRLN Emails” and then click on the “SIGN ME UP” window.


Update Email Status - If you believe you are enrolled but are not receiving email from NRLN/DRC, check your junk-mail or spam folder and designate email from contact@nrln.org as a “safe sender”. If you find no quarantined email, or if you changed your email address, please send a note to contact@nrln.org to check, revise and confirm your status. You also may have enrolled but failed to check the box to receive emails. If this is the case your enrollment status will be corrected.


Contributions –to NRLN and DRC are voluntary but needed and appreciated. Click here for Contributions.


Welcome current and future DuPont retirees –The NRLN (National Retirees Legislative Network) is a nationwide organization that advocates for federal legislation to protect retiree benefits including pensions, company provided healthcare, Social Security, Medicare, and lower prescription drug costs. We started this DuPont Retirees Chapter (DRC) due to concerns about the long-term security of our underfunded pension plan. With our email utility delivering key documents to our members directly, and with this webpage, we strive to be a key communication mechanism on retiree issues, as DowDuPont carries out a plan to split into three smaller companies.
Please review our communications on pension and other retiree issues in the left column below. The most current notes are always visible, while older communications are archived in reverse chronological order. The right column below is a repository of pertinent media articles about the merger and pension issues. We hope that you will review the wealth of information on our DRC page, as well as on the NRLN homepage.


Feel free to comment or ask questions by emailing Jim Odle, Chapter President at odlejk@gmail.com

Useful Links for DuPont Retirees: Retiree website - http://www.retiree.dupont.com/     DowDupont Investor Relations - http://www.dow-dupont.com/investors/default.aspx

DUPONT PENSION SECURITY COMMUNICATIONS

View Archived Communications
DRC history and activities; current and archived communications with DRC Membership and Corporate Management concerning pension security

 

 



ernst

February 29, 2020
To: NRLN DuPont Retirees Chapter
From: Jim Odle, President, DuPont Retirees Chapter
Subject: February 2020 NRLN Meeting in Washington, DC

I attended the NRLN late Winter meeting in Washington, D.C. on February 24-26, 2020 with about 20 other NRLN association and chapter members from all over the country. On the first day, Monday, we heard presentations from the NRLN staff on details for the focus areas for the meeting (more about these below). We also had an excellent presentation on Medicare from a representative from the Kaiser Family Foundation

On Tuesday and Wednesday, attendees visited members of Congress and their staffs on the Hill to advocate for legislation on the four issues below. As usual, I chose to meet with Senators from states with a concentration of DuPont retirees and met with staff members from the offices of Senator Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Senator Joni Ernst (Iowa), and Senator Tom Carper (Delaware). I have attached a picture of me meeting with Lynn Sha, a staff member, for Senator Carper.

Click on the video above for my comments about our lobbying issues.

We advocated for improved legislation to protect retirees on the following four issues. For more information I have provided below links to the “talking point” documents that we used in our meetings. Also, additional information can be found under the legislative agenda tab at nrln.org.

Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans move Medicare toward privatization, NRLN opposes the use of government subsidies to insurance companies for Medicare Advantage plans to move Medicare toward privatization. These plans are subsidized by Medicare and if the subsidies should go away beneficiaries could be faced with higher premiums and cuts in benefits.

Some facts: Medicare costs are increasing at much higher rate than the increase in the number of enrollees, in 2018 CMS paid out more per MA enrollee (3% more) than for traditional Medicare enrollee even though MA plans are usually held by younger more healthy retirees, Congress funded 19 new benefits in 2020 for MA plan enrollees that are not available to traditional Medicare enrollees, and MA costs/enrollee are projected to increase faster vs traditional Medicare over the next 10 years.

NRLN advocates: Investigate financials of MA and traditional Medicare with and without subsides, focus on reducing the cost of services, encourage private insurance companies to compete with Medicare without subsidies, make all extra MA services available to traditional Medicare enrollees, and work to reduce improper payments

Here is a link to a recent New York Times article that discusses both the popularity of MA and some of the criticisms.

Reduce the Cost of Prescription Drugs: We advocated for passing legislation to direct Medicare to do competitive bidding for prescription drugs, allowing importation of safe and less expensive drugs from approved pharmacies in Canada and ending pay-for-delay and other drug makers’ tactics that obstruct generic drugs from coming to market. Even though there has been plenty of talk about this and several pending bills in Congress nothing has been done to reduce the price of drugs and in fact the cost has steadily increased much more that the rate of inflation.

Pension Plan De-risking: Advocated the NRLN’s position on companies transferring pension assets to third party insurance companies to replace promised pension benefits, causing the loss of PBGC insurance protection. The NRLN advocates that plan sponsors purchase reinsurance or back-up insurance from a second, highly rated insurer.

Mergers, Acquisitions and Spin-offs: Protect retirees’ benefits when corporations engage in these actions. Certain corporate transactions in case of these events can increase the risk of a distress termination of a pension plan resulting in loss of benefits for retirees. The NRLN advocates legislation to make this less likely.

If you want to read the Talking Points that were used in the Capitol Hill appointments. Click on these headlines:

Click here to see more photos taken during appointments.

A comment in closing – We haven’t communicated a lot lately because little has changed since our August 1 email about the proposed class action lawsuit (now waiting for the court to decide to move forward). We are still monitoring this and any other developments that may occur. We will let you know as soon as we have any new information.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or requests for more information. odlejk@gmail.com

Jim Odle, President,
NRLN DuPont Retirees Chapter


July 31, 2019 (May 13, 2019 note with revised graph - Participant population line shifted by 1 year)

From: Paul Kende
To: NRLN DuPont Retirees Chapter
Subject: DuPont Pension Plan Historical Financial Overview

As Corteva Agriscience begins to sponsor the former DuPont Defined Benefit Pension Plan (and other post employment benefit programs), starting June 1, 2019, it seems appropriate to review the financial history of the Pension Plan over the last 10-12 years. We all receive the Annual Funding Notice (AFN), which reports the status of the Plan over a rolling 3-year period, but a summary overview of the key parameters, over a longer time frame, as shown in the graph below, provides a better perspective.

pension

US Pension Plan Participants include retirees and survivors drawing pensions, as well as people with vested pension rights, but not yet receiving payments. This group numbered nearly 150,000 in 2010, but is down to about 112,000, due to Lump Sum Buyouts (LSB) in 2017/18 and mortality. As the Plan was frozen, in November, 2018, Participant population (and Plan obligations) will continue to drop at accelerating rates – but recognize the Plan must meet its obligations to all, over an estimated 50 years, to cover the youngest vested employees/spouses, as long as they live.

The Funding Level is the primary indicator of the Pension Plan’s status and health; it is the Plan’s assets, expressed as a % of the Plan’s as total obligation (it is also called Funded Status and Funding Target Attainment Percentage, or FTAP). Because obligations are fulfilled over the life expectancy of Plan Participants, present values of these liabilities are calculated using an appropriate discount rate. The higher the Funding Level, the healthier the Pension Plan.

Ideally, the Funding Level should be 100%, so that current assets, growing at the discount rate, would generate sufficient funds to pay all obligations. However, actual Funding Levels are affected by sponsor contributions to the Plan, investment performance of the assets, the mortality experience of the Participant group, and different methods of determining the discount rates used in calculating the present value of future obligations. The graph shows 3 different curves for the Funding Level - each is correct on its own terms, but they use different discount rates, as determined under MAP-21, Traditional/Non MAP-21, and Fair Market value methodologies. All values shown are taken from DuPont’s AFN reports. Although the graph above shows only the financial status of the US Pension Plan, it represents about 80% of the Global DuPont Pension Plans.

As discussed in my previous reports in more detail, the discount rates, traditionally used each year for present value calculations, were based on U.S. Treasury Bond yields, averaged over the last 2 years - a conservative estimate of Pension Plan asset performance. To relieve the contribution requirements for Pension Plan Sponsors, in the low earnings environment following the 2008 financial crisis, Congress passed the 2012 MAP-21 legislation (extended in 2015, to run until 2020), allowing Sponsors to use the 25-year average of high quality corporate bond yields to determine discount rates. The much higher interest rates, assumed under MAP-21 rules, reduced present value calculations of long-term Pension Plan obligations, raised their apparent Funding Levels, and reduced the corresponding contribution requirements, as well as the variable rate PBGC insurance premiums. While the AFN reports are required to show both the higher MAP-21 based Funding Levels, as well as the lower, unadjusted, traditional Non-MAP-21 Plan status, both are based on actuarial, averaged values of assets and liabilities. However, a third way of indicating Pension Plan financial status is also included on page 2 of the AFN reports: the Fair Market Value (FMV) of the Plan’s assets, as well as its obligations, as of December, 31 of the previous year, avoiding the use of actuarial averaging.

Accepting that all 3 approaches to Funding Level calculations accurately reflect the Pension Plan’s financial status for different purposes and under different accounting standards, what is the most appropriate way to assess the plan from retirees’ viewpoint? Using long-term average corporate bond yields to determine the present value of future obligations (MAP-21), is reasonable because the pension payout is also over a long time-frame. On the other hand, the Pension Plan is for the benefit of older retired people, by definition, and therefore, it is also appropriate to use lower yield, but more secure investment based planning (traditional, Non-MAP-21). In addition, because excess Sponsor contributions, beyond the minimum requirements, go into the so-called Credit Balance, these funds do not affect the reported Funding Level; however, the FMV calculations do recognize all contributions, as indicated by its sharp increase in 2017/18. I believe the most appropriate retiree vantage point, for assessing the security of our DuPont Pension Plan, is the one provided by the Fair Market Value-based calculation, which is also the basis of the 10K SEC reports, issued in February each year, indicating the Plan’s financial status, as of 12/31 of the prior year.

Many Pension Plan Participants have asked about additional Lump Sum Buyout offers, as well as the likelihood of Corteva converting the Pension Plan to an annuity, provided by a commercial insurance company. Of course, I cannot predict what Corteva might do, but a few comments may be helpful, as we speculate about the future:

  • The large credit balance in the Pension Plan (estimated at $4 B, at year-end 2018) reduces Corteva’s need for making required contributions to the Plan for some years, although I hope they will contribute, as this would further increase our pensions’ financial security. However, further contributions are unlikely to provide significant corporate tax-deduction benefits, as the last ones did for the 2017 tax-year.
  • The closer the Plan comes to 100% Funding Level, the easier it would be to annuitize our pensions through an insurance company (often called “de-risking”).
  • The recent Lump Sum Buyouts in 2017/18 were offered only to Participants who have not yet begun receiving their pensions. This was probably based on IRS advisories that planned legislation would legally bar LSB offers for retirees; however, under the current administration, the IRS has withdrawn this advisory, opening the door for potential LSB to retirees, which Sponsors have been reluctant to offer until now.
  • Reducing the Participant group size through LSBs would make it easier to bring the remaining Plan’s Funding Level higher, which, in turn, would reduce the barriers to transferring it to an insurance company. An LSB offer may or may not be a good option for a Participant, depending personal circumstances.
  • Annuities from an Insurance company, at the same benefit levels to all Participants, would lose the protection of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation against failure of Pension Plan Sponsor to pay. State-based Insurance Association guarantees are much less than our current protections by the federal PBGC guarantees. Secondary insurance coverage would be required to keep our pension security risks at the current levels.

Your comments and questions are always welcome………

Paul Kende paul.kende@gmail.com

Read the latest NRLN actions during the month.review

Read Spring 2020 NRLN FOCUS Newsletter
focus


donut hole

The donut hole is closed, but drugs won’t be free! Click here to read the entire article that has important information.


DUPONT IN THE NEWS

Media articles about DuPont and DowDuPont retiree benefits and corporate restructuring. Some publications may require subscriptions, and/or login for unlimited viewing


Judge dismisses Chemours lawsuit against DuPont
By Randall Chase; The Associated Press ~ Mar 30, 2020

DuPont expediting production of Tyvek hazmat suits for health care workers
By Heidi Przybyla; NBC News ~ Mar 26, 2020

DuPont planning to appeal $50M verdict in C8 case
By Jess Mancini; The Parkersburg News and Sentinel ~ Mar 05, 2020

DuPont Owes $50 Million in PFAS Cancer Cases, Jury Finds (Corrected)
By Alex Ebert; Bloomberg Environment ~ Mar 03, 2020

DuPont Rises as Former CEO Ed Breen Reclaims the Helm
By M. Corey Goldman; TheStreet ~ Feb 18, 2020

DuPont brings back Breen in leadership shakeup
Delaware Business Times – Feb 18, 2020

DuPont De Nemours Fires CEO And CFO
By Ezequiel Minaya; Forbes ~ Feb 18, 2020

DuPont Met Earnings Estimates, but Its Stock Is Falling Because 2020 Looks Bland
By Al Root; Barron’s ~ Jan 30, 2020

DuPont to Explore Divestiture of Electronics Unit
By Kiel Porter & Myriam Balezou; Bloomberg ~ Jan 16, 2020

Corteva, Inc. [CTVA] – Is there any real value to CTVA Stock or is it vaporware?
By Abby Carey, Winnex.com – Jan 14, 2020

DuPont Investing $75M In Modernization Of Virginia Plant The company will modernize and expand its manufacturing and technology operations in Chesterfield County, VA, creating 60 jobs.
Business Facilities ~ Jan 08, 2020

DuPont: Pouring The Cocktail
SeekingAlpha – Dec 30, 2019

Opinion: Why DuPont de Nemours, Inc.’s (NYSE:DD) Return On Capital Employed Is Impressive
Via “Simply Wall St”; Yahoo Finance. ~ Dec 22, 2019

DuPont Has Narrowed Its Focus. Analyst Sees a Winner for 2020.
By Evie Liu; Barron’s ~ Dec 17, 2019

DuPont sheds nutrition business; impact on jobs unknown
By Karl Baker; The News Journal ~ Dec 16, 2019

DuPont to spin and merge another business unit
Delaware.com - Dec 16, 2019

DuPont to Acquire Desalitech
“By DuPont”; Cision ~ Dec 11, 2019

PFAS Plaintiffs Score Partial Win Over DuPont in Ohio Litigation
Bloomberg Environment ~ Nov 26, 2019

DuPont Faces ‘Dark Waters’ as Oscar-Bait Film Nears Release
By Aoyon Ashraf; Bloomberg ~ Nov 08, 2019

DuPont to Explore Divestiture of Its Transportation Unit
By Kiel Porter, Myriam Balezou & Rick Clough; Bloomberg ~ Nov 07, 2019

DuPont Stock ‘Is Too Cheap’ and Has Catalysts
By Al Root; Barron’s ~ Nov 01, 2019

DuPont’s Earnings Beat the Street. They Also Point to a Stronger World Economy.
By Al Root; Barron’s ~ Oct 31, 2019

DuPont employees face ongoing pay issues
By Ashley Schafer; Midland Daily News ~ Oct 08, 2019

Market Too Focused on Corteva's Near Term
By Seth Goldstein, Morningstar – Oct 7, 2019

DuPont Rises After Strong Boost by New Analyst
From Scott Van Voorhis; TheStreet ~ Oct 04, 2019

DuPont painted as villain in trailer for movie 'Dark Waters'
By Sarika Jagtiani & Ryan Cormier; The News Journal ~ Sep 21, 2019

DuPont changes continue with toxic chemical pledge and $450M sale of semiconductor biz
By Karl Baker; The News Journal ~ Sep 11, 2019

Buy DuPont Stock Because It Could Break Up Again, Citigroup Says
Al Root, Barron’s – Sept 11, 2019

DuPont Partners with Habitat for Humanity on energy-efficient home building projects
Via Habitat for Humanity International; Cision ~ Aug 13, 2019

DuPont Considers Sale of Biosciences Unit That Could Fetch $20 Billion
Kiel Porter, Dinesh Nair and Richard Clough, Bloomberg – Aug 7, 2019

DuPont Considers Sale of Biosciences Unit That Could Fetch $20 Billion
By Kiel Porter, Aaron Kirchfeld & Myriam Balezou; Bloomberg ~ Aug 06, 2019

DuPont Just Beat Earnings Estimates. Here’s What It Means for the Stock.
By Al Root; Barron’s ~ Aug 01, 2019

Buy Dow Stock for the Dividend as the Breakup Dust Settles
By Ian Bezek, InvestorPlace – July 23, 2019

Class Suit Filed Over DuPont Pension Funds
By Katheryn Tucker; Law.com ~ Jul 12, 2019

Dow, DuPont and Corteva Sued for Allegedly Ducking Pension Obligations
By John Manganaro, Plan Advisor – July 9, 2019

Pension Participants Claim ERISA Breaches in Dow DuPont Pension Transfer
By John Manganaro; Plansponsor ~ Jul 09, 2019

Union leaders asked rebooted DuPont to change more than its slogan
From Joseph N. DiStefano; The Philadelphia Inquirer ~ Jul 08, 2019

Class action pension suit filed against Corteva, DuPont
Delaware Business Now – July 6, 2019

DuPont becomes independent company
By Scott Francis; CompositesWorld ~ Jul 03, 2019

Chemours files lawsuit against DuPont
By Jess Mancini; The Marietta Times ~ Jul 03, 2019

DuPont Unveils First Dividend Since DowDuPont Breakup
By Lawrence C. Strauss; Barron’s ~ Jun 27, 2019

DuPont Stock Requires ‘a Leap of Faith.’ Not All Analysts Are Jumping.
By Al Root; Barron’s ~ Jun 20, 2019

Is DuPont a Buy? The new specialty materials company will have the highest operating margin of the three DowDuPont spinoffs.
By Maxx Chatsko; The Motley Fool ~ Jun 11, 2019

The New DuPont Stock Is a Winner on Wall Street as a Price Target Is Doubled
By Al Root; Barron’s ~ Jun 05, 2019

DuPont re-emerges as freestanding company
Delaware Business Now ~ Jun 04, 2019

DuPont reorganizes, again, on eve of historic break-up
By Joseph N. DiStefano; The Inquirer ~ May 29, 2019

DowDuPont is heading for a historic split. Early results have been poor. Will these massive spin-offs work?
From Joseph N. DiStefano; The Inquirer ~ May 26, 2019

DuPont officials mark growing presence in Michigan ahead of DowDuPont spin off
By Isis Simpson-Mersha; MLive ~ May 13, 2019

New Jersey sues DuPont, 3M over toxic firefighting foam
By Scott Fallon; North Jersey Record ~ May 14, 2019

DowDuPont’s DuPont Capital Is Beating the S&P 500 and Sold All Its GE Stock in the First Quarter
By Ed Lin; Barron’s ~ May 01, 2019

DowDuPont Is Splitting Into 3 Companies. Here’s Everything You Need to Know.
By Al Root; Barron’s ~ Apr 29, 2019

DuPont to Shed Sustainability Units in Post-Split Profit Quest
By Jack Kaskey; Bloomberg ~ May 02, 2019

Dow: Question The Dividend
Seeking Alpha, April 10, 2019

Will the merger with Dow cost DuPont its identity as a company?
By Frank Gerace; WDEL ~ Apr 06, 2019

What the DowDuPont Breakup Means for the Dow Industrials
By Andrew Bary; Barron’s ~ Mar 27, 2019

New Jersey regulators issue 'directive' to Delaware companies over Teflon chemical
By Scott Fallon & Karl Baker; The News Journal ~ Mar 25, 2019

Breen fine-tunes DuPont R&D strategy ahead of DowDuPont split
By Alex Tullo;? Chemical & Engineering News ~ Mar 13, 2019

DowDuPont Spells Out Details of Material Sciences Spin-Off
By Paul Ausick; 24/7 Wall St. ~ Mar 08, 2019

DowDuPont Board of Directors Approves Separation of Materials Science Division, Creating the New Dow
DowDuPont Press Release – March 8, 2019

DowDuPont Is About to Break Up. Here’s What the Parts Are Worth.
By Al Root, Barrons – March 6, 2019

DowDuPont to pump $430 million into pension plans in 2019
By Brian Croce; Pensions & Investments ~ Feb 12, 2019

DowDuPont Stock Is Down Because Its Split Can’t Happen Soon Enough
Al Root, Barron’s – Jan 31, 2019

Low oil prices, global volatility lead to DowDuPont's $12 billion drop in value
By Karl Baker, Delaware News Journal

2019 Spin-Offs To Unleash Value Embedded In DowDuPont
From Damian Mark; Seeking Alpha ~ Jan 30, 2019

Nick in the AM: DuPont to lay off employees at El Paso ag facility
By Nick Vlahos; Journal Star ~ Jan 04, 2019

  Suggestions and comments about this website should be addressed to webmaster@nrln.org. Last updated: April 1, 2020