It's possible that your bosses have a SEP-IRA, which allows them to contribute more than the $2000 limit on normal IRAs. This is not a "pension plan" but it is a retirement savings plan that defers taxable income. It's not clear here how many other workers are in your situation or whether you are concerned only for yourself or are expressing a concern of others. James offers the unionizing option, but that may not be in the cards for you. You might suggest to the boss that his financial planner be made available to other employees to advise them on individual strategies they might employ (like SEP-IRA). Alternatively, you might consult a good "socially responsible" investment broker (like Progressive Assets Management in SF and NYC), who can discuss options.
In solidarity, Michael
At 01:05 PM 9/7/1998 -0400, james withrow wrote:
>Paula from Sat the 5th:
>"I have inquired of my bosses more humane, but willingly blind wife
>about gaining access to their retirement vehicle (didn"t mention
>anything about the match, just said I'd maxed out my IRA and needed
>other options. She referred to their financial planner, noting she
>didn't think it was possible. I said I read in the book by the PBS money
>lady that if they had a retirement vehicle that allowed for more than
>their $4000 IRA contribution (I know they do, their 28 year old
>restaurant & catering does quite well) then they must have such a plan.
>That was yesterday,
><<<snipetty snip snip>>>
>Anyway I'm not sure what I should do about this pension-plan thing. I
>know he won't comply. What should my next step be? I work a short week
>for really decent money, that's hard to find, but..
>I really need input from you union folk about this pension situation
> Here's my take on what you should do to win your coworkers a
>pension plan. But first, what's your motivation here? What's your
>primary goal? Do you want your coworkers to be covered by a pension
>plan or do you want to rouse the rabble? Both are excellent goals.
> If you want to get the pension plan, I would start by talking to
>your inhumane boss one-on-one and pretend while you're talking to him
>that he's a real human being with feelings of noblesse oblige toward his
> Start by mentioning that a pension plan would be something the
>employees need desperately. Try to get him to imagine the impending
>prospect of all these people he's been supervising going into a
>retirement of poverty dependent on only Social Security (if there will
>even be a system left to depend on-- nod nod wink wink). A pension plan
>would make his employees more committed to his workplace and give him
>peace of mind, etc. etc. In fact, if you can pick out the most
>deserving employee to base this on, personalizing your plea, that could
>help. And then at the end you can always mention that part about the
>law. The point of this plan, of course, is to give him a way to save
> Much of this turns on the law and enforcement of the law. If
>you're right about the laws surrounding pension plans, you should still
>remember that the law is worthless unless you can actually prove they
>have a pension plan covered under the law. And, how are you going to
>prove that? Unfortunately, in practice, due process laws apply to the
>wealthy more than to the poor.
> If you want to rouse the rabble, to bring the spirit of a union
>into your workplace, that's a different matter. If you can prove that
>they're breaking the law, I'd suggest pulling the Alinsky birth control
>trick. Your workplace and your coworkers will never be the same again.
> In any case, I suggest buying a copy of "Power on the Job" by our
>own Michael Yates. We've had running thread about the Left and its
>tendency to talk to itself in unapproachable jargon. Yates's book
>explains the options available to people in the workplace in clear,
>easy-to-understand language. He covers not only unionizing, but the
>many options of forming a union. (It should be required reading for all
>organizers. There's a tendency for the professionals to adopt one style
>of organizing and then to try to apply it to all situations.)
> Paula, let us know what happens.
> James in Philly