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TVARS Lawsuit Update

Click here to see the Appellants' Reply Brief filed on August 28, 2017.

This appeal is a continuation of the lawsuit filed in 2010 on behalf of employees and retirees by the Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings law firm. This lawsuit was filed in reaction to the TVARS 2009 rule amendments. Court rulings on this lawsuit could also have implications for TVARS amendments passed after 2009.

It is very ironic that a majority of the TVARS Board forced these amendments over my strong objections and vote against, and yet my name appears as the lead defendant. I encouraged and supported the filing of a lawsuit on behalf of employees and retirees soon after the 2009 amendments were passed. In 2010, the Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings law firm filed such a lawsuit. This lawsuit named the TVARS Board directors individually as defendants. I was listed first. The defendants were later changed to TVA and TVARS, but the case name with me as lead defendant stuck.
Recent posts

TVA Additional Contribution to TVARS

On August 23, 2017, the TVA Board approved TVA’s $300 million contribution to the TVA Retirement System for fiscal year 2018.  The TVA Board also approved an additional one-time $500 million contribution to be made this fiscal year (fiscal year 2017).

This additional $500 million, plus annual credited interest, can be used by TVA in lieu of contributions at any future time at TVA's discretion. (See Section 9B5 on page 64 of TVARS' rules.) It does not increase TVA's long-term funding commitment to TVARS.

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) has already pointed out in its March 2017 report that TVA's long-term funding commitment is not enough to ensure the plan’s full funding.  The GAO specifically stated that TVA should “propose, and work with the TVARS board to adopt, funding rules designed to ensure the plan’s full funding.”  (See the GAO’s recommendations for executive action on page 34 of their March 2017 report.)  Why will TVA not work with us on …

Candidates Announced

Employees who are TVARS members will elect a director from the four candidates listed below for a three-year term on the TVARS Board.  The term will run from November 1, 2017, through October 31, 2020. Sam DeLay – Senior Program Manager, Energy Use Technology, Enterprise Research and Technology Innovation, Chattanooga Andrew McFalls – Unit Operator, Power Operations, Bull Run Fossil Plant Jerry Snyder – Specialist, Senior System Operator, Transmission Operations and Power Supply, Chattanooga Tony Troyani – Senior Instrument Mechanic Foreman, Power Operations, Cumberland Fossil Plant Click on the names above to view detailed candidate information. Election-America, Inc., an independent election firm, will handle the voting process this year.  Election ballots will be mailed to employees’ home addresses, and employees will also receive voting information at work by e-mail directly from Election-America. Employees will be able to vote online or by phone during the election that runs from Au…

Nominations for Annual TVARS Election

TVARS will accept nominations through Monday, July 10, for a three-year term as an elected member of the TVARS Board of Directors. The term will run from November 1, 2017, through October 31, 2020. Any employee who is a TVARS member is eligible to run for election. The TVARS Board consists of seven members:  three appointed by TVA, three elected by employees who are TVARS members, and one who is selected by the other six. The TVARS Board is responsible for the administration of the System and the 401(k) Plan. The board holds quarterly meetings and other special-called meetings, as necessary, throughout the year in order to conduct business, and each director serves on various board committees. For more information on the duties and responsibilities of directors of the TVARS Board, please see the TVARS Governance Policy. Nominations are made by petition. Signatures of 25 employees who are TVARS members are required. The required form of the nominating petition must be used. Nominating p…

TVARS Board Blocks Vote on Financial Reform

I made the following motion at the June 15, 2017 TVA Retirement System (TVARS) Board meeting: Whereas the TVARS Board wishes to amend its rules and regulations to meet the funding recommendations in the March 2017 GAO Report to Congress, the TVARS Board hereby approves amending the system’s rules and regulations to specify that the annual “accrued liability contribution” be determined using a fixed amortization period of 20 years beginning in fiscal year 2018 instead of the currently specified 30-year rolling amortization period.
I then stated the following in support of the motion: This amendment would eliminate TVARS’ funding shortfall in 20 years. Per the GAO's report, 15 to 20 years is the maximum period recommended by a Blue Ribbon Panel commissioned by the Society of Actuaries. The GAO report indicates that TVA officials have stated a goal to fully fund the pension within 20 years, but that TVA has not identified such a goal or milestones in its performance plan or report.…

TVA Retirement System Financial Reform Efforts Continue

TVA Retirement System (TVARS) Board members Jim Hovious and I continue working towards the reform needed to secure the stable financial futures of both TVA and TVARS.  We are again urging the TVARS Board to approve an amendment to the rules which will ensure the pension plan achieves full funding.

We are now supported in our efforts by the recommendations of the March 2017 GAO Report to Congress on TVA.  Our proposed amendment would eliminate the funding shortfall in 20 years.  Per the GAO's report, 15 to 20 years is the maximum period recommended by a Blue Ribbon Panel commissioned by the Society of Actuaries.  The GAO report indicates that TVA officials have stated a goal to fully fund the pension within 20 years, but that TVA has not identified such a goal or milestones in its performance plan or report.  In contrast to TVA's stated goal, TVA officials told the GAO that TVA does not plan to contribute more than the TVARS Rules require.  This will essentially pass today'…

TVARC Action Alert: GAO Says Fully Fund TVA Pension Plan

ACTION ALERT-PLEASE PARTICIPATE 
From: Mike Moseley, President, TVARC
Subject: TVARC Action Alert: GAO Says Fully Fund TVA Pension Plan

The Tennessee Valley Authority Retirees Coalition (TVARC) requests support from TVARC members, members of TVA Retiree Chapters, our Unions, readers and senders of Facebook and Twitter messages and other contacts to send a message to our Tennessee Valley members of Congress. Please read this message and then go to http://www.nrln.org/congress.html#/54 to respond to this important Action Alert.

Background  The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked by Congress to review the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) plan for debt reduction and to make recommendations: the first was that TVA must better communicate its plans for overall debt reduction and second, the GOA specifically recommends that TVA take steps to have its retirement system adopt funding rules designed to ensure the pension plan’s full funding. (See the GAO’s Report here.)

The Te…