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Introduction

This is my personal blog to facilitate communication among TVA employees, retirees and beneficiaries who are members of TVARS and who wish to preserve their retirement benefits. Please join my site and post your comments.  I have been an elected member of the TVA Retirement System (TVARS, or the system) board of directors since 2003. I am not speaking officially for the TVARS board of directors or TVA management. TVARS is an entity legally independent of TVA. Three of the board members are TVA employees (including myself), three are appointed by TVA management (currently all TVA executive managers), and the seventh is generally a retired TVA employee (appointed by the other six). As TVA employees, we all have a duty of loyalty to carry out directives issued by TVA management in our regular TVA jobs. However, each board member has a fiduciary duty to all the members of the system when performing TVARS duties. This fiduciary duty legally supercedes our duty of loyalty to carry out directives issued by TVA management. This can sometimes place TVARS directors in a very difficult position with TVA management on certain issues regarding the system.

In June of 2009, as had been done for decades, the TVARS board approved recommending a contribution from TVA to be made in the following year sufficient to adequately fund TVARS. The vote was 4-3. Subsequently, the three executive management TVARS board members issued statements to all TVA employees indicating that they wanted some accrued retirement benefits to be reduced. Unknown to me at the time, some TVA executive managers also attended a meeting of the TVA Retirees Association and asked for their support. In August of 2009, a special TVARS meeting was called and a vote was taken to change the TVARS rules to reduce accrued benefits and suspend the determination and recommendation of necessary annual contributions from TVA for four years. This was approved by a vote of 4-3. In June of 2009, I voted for. In August of 2009, I voted against.

A lawsuit was brought against TVARS and TVA by some members of the system (TVA employees - both current and retired) challenging the legitimacy of the August 2009 TVARS vote and rule changes, as well as their subsequent approval by the TVA Board. This lawsuit has not yet been settled. It is possible that a proposed settlement could confirm parts of the 2009 rule changes, or even create additional reductions of accrued benefits and additional TVARS governance changes. In an attempt to avoid any future confusion and controversy as occured in August 2009, I made three motions in the December 11, 2012 TVARS board meeting. The first was to provide for open TVARS board meetings, the second was to provide for member voting on any proposed benefit concessions, and the third was to inform TVA of TVARS funding requirements per the February 12, 2010 IG Review of TVA's Pension Risk (Audit 2009-12326). Due to the Confidentiality Policy adopted by the TVARS board, I am not at liberty to discuss how my three motions were received. The minutes and transcript of the meeting should be made available after approval by the TVARS Board. This does not appear likely to occur until March 2013. A summary report prepared by the TVARS staff has been posted on the TVARS website which does not include any mention of my motions, so I believe it is safe for me to inform you that none of them were approved.

Comments

  1. Thank you setting up the blog site. I will use this but also prefer receiving the emails but understand the limitations. Thank you for everything you are doing to help us!

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  2. This blog is an excellent idea and applaud your efforts at keeping everyone informed. Thanks.

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  3. Thanks for all you do Leonard.
    Curtis Sharpe IBEW LU 721

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  4. Thanks for all your hard work. It's good to know some do care about the people who have worked hard to make TVA the best utility.

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  5. I am sure that you spend most of your non-work time working to protect our benefits. I like your BLOG. THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL YOU DO!!!!!!!!!!

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  6. This blog is an excellent way to keep TVARS members informed. Thanks for the hard work you do for us.

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  7. Thank you for the information.

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  8. I appreciate ALL your efforts on keeping us informed on what's going on with OUR retirement system. Keep up the GOOD WORK!

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  9. I vote to keep the blog, this is a great idea

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  10. thanks Leonard. We know that you have our back.

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  11. Thank you for all your work in our behalf. Blog appears to be a good alternative means of communication

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  12. More information is a good thing. Thanks for all the info you have provided. I also vote to keep the blog.

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  13. I welcome the blog and I too appreciate your work on our behalf.

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  14. I like the blog Leonard....great idea....this would seem to be easier to keep correspondence current.....I too thank you for educating and keeping us informed

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  15. As a retiree I Really appreciate what you have done. Keep up good work.

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  16. Thanks for your efforts and for saying things that need to be said and asking questions that need to be asked. Appreciate your work, Keep it up!

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  17. Leonard, I appreciate all your efforts to protect the interests of all TVA retires and employees. It takes honorable courage to do what is right when face with undue oppression from your employer. Thank you very much. Larry J Miller, Paradise Retiree

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  18. Leonard, Thanks for all of your hard work!!

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  19. Martin Fisher - Machinist Union

    Your proposals i thought were transparent , it would bring open , honest dialog to the table , i think we need to get alot more participation within our members , keep up the good fight in Solidarity.

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  20. Thank you all very much for your kind words and encouragement.

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