Coming Soon: 401K Education for SHARE Members

As most of you know, SHARE agreed to pension changes in our most recent contract negotiations with UMass Memorial. One change is that the employer match for 401(k) contributions will double when the changes go into effect in 2017. The 401(k) will be important for future retirees, especially young SHARE members who will be in the new plan most of their careers.

Our pension survey last spring showed that half of SHARE members don't currently contribute to retirement savings through a 401(k) at UMass Memorial. Many said that they can't afford to take money out of their checks. Others said that more information about how the 401K works would help them to sign up for it. That's why SHARE is working with Human Resources to plan a series of Information Meetings for SHARE members about how the 401(k) works. We'll answer questions like:

  • Do I need to put money into a 401(k)?
  • How much money will UMass Memorial put into my account?
  • How do I figure out how much money I should have taken out, and how much difference will I see in my check?
  • What paperwork do I need to fill out? How do I do it?

We're aiming for September for the Information Meetings. Anyone who decides to open a 401(k) account start to contribute in October when the next raise is scheduled. If you'd like to get involved in planning the meetings, or to request one in your area, give the SHARE office a call (508-929-4020).

Pension Changes Start 2017

SHARE members have a defined benefit pension, which is a very good thing for us, because it provides a guaranteed monthly income in retirement. The 401(k) savings plan is in addition to the defined benefit pension and Social Security.

In contract negotiations, we agreed on future changes to both the defined benefit pension, and the 401(k). No changes will happen before 2017. In 2017, UMass Memorial will double their matching contribution to the 401(k), and change the formula for calculating the pension for 2017 and laterWhen the changes to the pension come, they will be gradual. SHARE members will continue adding to their pensions in 2017 and after, but at a slower rate. Everything that you have accrued in your pension is protected, and can't be taken away. (So, if you're debating whether to retire in, say, 2016 or 2017, the pension change shouldn't be a factor.) The full details of the pension agreement between SHARE and UMass Memorial are described beginning on page 3 of the most recent contract.

Stay tuned for details about the 401(k) Information Meetings.