Registered Principal explains details on 401(k), pension in Deere, UAW contract negotiations

Employees have been on strike for the past three days
Published: Oct. 17, 2021 at 12:05 AM CDT
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BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) - For financial advisor Doug Wier, he knew a strike was on the way between John Deere and United Auto Workers employees.

“I’ve been hearing voices from the salaried side and the union side of the whole thing and a lot of union guys were ready for this, they’re ready for the strike,” Wier said.

When union members voted down a contract on October 10, one key issue revolved around issues involving retirement benefits.

“Right now they have a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan, that is they have a defined benefit plan and they can contribute to a 401(k),” Wier said, ”What the company wants to do is the company wants to do away with a defined benefit plan and that’s the same as many companies in the last 30, 40 years, 40 years really.”

“Getting rid of the defined benefit plan is not negative, it is not entirely negative,” Wier added, ”For some people in today’s world where people are more mobile and they don’t stay at the same company for 30 years it’s not a bad deal folks, so I don’t want people who are listening to me to think that the union is entirely right and should retain the defined benefit plan. It’s a very costly plan to maintain and frankly I would like a defined contribution plan myself I wouldn’t like a DB (direct benefit) plan.”

He believes there will be an option though for new employees.

“I could actually see the option where they offer the new hires to do either plan, best of both worlds if you will,” Wier said.

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