Menu

Kaiser Retirement Plans

Home Retirement Accounts Kaiser Retirement Plans

  • Avatar Tri2Fly 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 25
    Joined: 03/25/2017

    What do all the TPMG docs do for disability insurance? I kept my individual policy from residency which is like $5k month and then bought the group policy. Anyone just buy the extra supplemental policy via UNUM?

    #218673 Reply
    fatlittlepig fatlittlepig 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1196
    Joined: 01/26/2017

    What do all the TPMG docs do for disability insurance? I kept my individual policy from residency which is like $5k month and then bought the group policy. Anyone just buy the extra supplemental policy via UNUM?

    Click to expand…

    The supplemental disability brochure was promptly put in the filing cabinet (trash can)

    #218704 Reply
    Avatar StarTrekDoc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2055
    Joined: 01/15/2017

    What do all the TPMG docs do for disability insurance? I kept my individual policy from residency which is like $5k month and then bought the group policy. Anyone just buy the extra supplemental policy via UNUM?

    Click to expand…

    The supplemental disability brochure was promptly put in the filing cabinet (trash can)

    Click to expand…

    That’s File 13.  A very good place.

    #218732 Reply
    Avatar Morbo 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 15
    Joined: 04/10/2019

    While peds is correct that fund selection is much greater if you move to your IRA, the choices are pretty good in our 401k so I’m fine in that respect.

     

    Click to expand…

    If you ever feel limited by the fund selection and if you haven’t tried Brokeragelink, definitely consider it.  In my opinion, with the entire Fidelity brokerage available, I don’t consider fund selection an issue.  Fidelity funds are great options IMO. In addition, there’s a large selection of 300+ “free” ETFs that have no trading fees.  I personally keep it relatively simple. I use IJS (iShares Small Cap Value) from the free ETF choices in addition to the usual Fidelity funds (FKSAX/Total Stock Market Index, FSPSX/International Index Fund, FXNAX/US Bond Index Fund).   The Zero funds (0% expense ratio funds) are also available, but I’m not sure I trust them yet so I haven’t switched over.  If you really want Vanguard you could buy their ETFs, but you’d have to pay the $5 trading fees. You can literally buy anything they offer as far as I can tell: Individual treasuries from auction, corporate bonds from the secondary market, CDs, etc (though I haven’t actually done this).

    I had typed a response to Morbo yesterday but it disappeared/didn’t go through.  I still prefer the Roth IRA option over Roth 401k, mostly for diversity.  It’s a pain though getting the notary done, so I do it just once a year and try, if I can, which means sometimes paying taxes on earnings.  Some reasons 1) IRA is portable, is not an employer plan.  sure you can always rollover your Roth 401k later  as well 2) does not have to be with Fidelity, can have my Roth IRA anywhere 3) can w/draw contributions anytime and separately from earnings, no pro-rata rule for early withdrawal as with Roth 401k.  Also, I can w/draw contributions before 59.5, but with Roth 401k, can be difficult to do or have to take a loan from 401k. 4) RMDs, a real issue for TPMG folks, apply to Roth 401k but not Roth IRA.  BUT, WallyWorld is right about 401k being more protected from creditors in California.  For me, it comes down to diversifying and filling my different buckets since my 401k bucket is largest one rights now.  I don’t mind the extra step and our bank notarizes for free

    Click to expand…

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

     

    Yeah, I think early withdrawals is one of the biggests reason to consider the IRA. (Edit: the RMD issue can be avoided by rolling over the 401k into an IRA I think).  However, I think if you retire early and rollover your Roth 401k to Roth IRA after retirement before 59.5 years old, the entire amount is then available for immediate withdrawal as long as the Roth IRA has been open for at least 5 years.  I am not 100% clear on this point, that’s how I’ve interpreted it.

    https://www.investopedia.com/articles/retirement/09/roth-401k-rollover.asp

    “If the rollover is to a Roth IRA instead, the holding period within the Roth 401(k) does not carry over. That is, if the client has an existing Roth IRA, once the Roth 401(k) distribution is in the account, it has the same holding period as the Roth IRA funds. Let’s assume, for example, that the Roth IRA was opened in 2000. You worked at your employer from 2006-2009 and were then let go or quit. Because the Roth IRA that you are rolling the funds into has been in existence for more than five years, the full distribution rolled into the Roth IRA meets the five-year rule for qualified distributions.”

    I’m looking to see if I can find other sources to verify this though in case I am misinterpreting something.

     

    Edit:

    OK, so I think I got it now.  If you rollover your Roth 401k to Roth IRA AND assuming your Roth IRA is at least 5 years old, then contributions to the Roth 401k (which have been rolled over to the Roth IRA) are now available to be withdrawn immediately without penalty while any earnings are still subject to the 59.5 age rule.

    #218797 Reply
    Avatar skeptic 
    Participant
    Status: Retired
    Posts: 7
    Joined: 05/09/2019

    Just getting into the discussion.  I have 15 years in with TPMG and Am seriously considering leaving before the age of 60.  My understanding is that you do get payment at age 55 even if you have seperated from the company earlier.  I talked to physician HR and I was blunt and stated that my goal was “not a goddamn second longer than I need to” and my retirement specialist said that I would get payment once I hit 55.  I believe if you dive into MDpeople and look at all the retirement documents there is one that talks about it.  I’ll try to find it.

     

    My biggest concern is the true funding status of the pension.  GAAP rules about pensions are kind of BS.  So when you get that nice brochure at the end of the year what do you guys make of all the massive deficits in assets versus liabilities, What do you make of the proposed 7% return they model for their returns in the pension fund which they have not hit btw, what do you make of the annual decreasing spread between the annual take in versus the annual expense for retirement obligations which in my modeling looks like we will go net negative within probably the next 5 years?  Thanks for your input.

    #222258 Reply
    Avatar StarTrekDoc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2055
    Joined: 01/15/2017

    You CAN take out as early as 55 with a hit of 4.6% per year of your anticipated 65 yo pension iirc. I have to check my notes at home on that % though. In this state of low inflation, best to really put that off as long as you can. Tap your plan 2 funds first before hitting needs of pension.

    In the interim years too if you have little income, you may want to play the insurance exchange game and make sure you have a lot of cash from55 to 65 and stay under the earnings rate for subsidized premiums.

    #222283 Reply
    Wally World Wally World 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 37
    Joined: 01/08/2016
    My understanding is that you do get payment at age 55 even if you have seperated from the company earlier.

    Click to expand…

    I went back to the plan documents & you are correct. I was wrong in my earlier post about needing to work until 55 in order to qualify for early retirement benefits. As long as you have 15 years of service, you can elect to receive your pension as early as 55 years of age regardless of when you separate from TPMG.  I’ll paste the screen shot below. That’s good to know!

    You CAN take out as early as 55 with a hit of 4.6% per year of your anticipated 65 yo pension iirc. I have to check my notes at home on that % though. In this state of low inflation, best to really put that off as long as you can. Tap your plan 2 funds first before hitting needs of pension.

    Click to expand…

    As STD points out, you don’t have to take out your pension at 55 (thereby avoiding the actuarial reduction) & can use plan 2 to tide you over (which is a money purchase plan and available for withdrawals at 55 years without penalty). I’ll also post the % reduction table on the plan 1 payments below.

    I talked to physician HR and I was blunt and stated that my goal was “not a goddamn second longer than I need to”

    Click to expand…

    Understand. I have days like that too. Though (at the moment) they are outnumbered by the good/OK days. Though if I won the lottery…

    My biggest concern is the true funding status of the pension. GAAP rules about pensions are kind of BS.

    Click to expand…

    I also wonder about this. I don’t really grasp the accounting details. I haven’t fully read through the Form 5500 with all the details (though I know it is available on the US DoL site). I see that the funding target attainment % has dropped over the past 3 years & that the funding shortfall without adjusted interest rates (ie with real interest rates) is listed as $1.2B. Looking at plan assets minus plan liabilities (under the “How well is your plan funded?” section of the letter) there has been a drop in the difference comparing 2017 to 2018 (change from 921M to 799M, which seems like it is moving in the wrong direction but I don’t know how much of a buffer is actually needed in this situation). I know that per my Annual Benefits Statement the amount they’ve kicked in for my own Retirement Plan (Plan 1 and Supplemental) has been increasing over the past few years, so maybe they’re taking some steps in the right direction to make sure adequate funding? It does seem like there’s a “leap of faith” aspect to the whole pension/delayed benefits thing (hopefully it’ll be there, but don’t count on it 100%).

    Attachments:
    You must be logged in to view attached files.
    #222351 Reply
    fatlittlepig fatlittlepig 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1196
    Joined: 01/26/2017

    Just getting into the discussion.  I have 15 years in with TPMG and Am seriously considering leaving before the age of 60.  My understanding is that you do get payment at age 55 even if you have seperated from the company earlier.  I talked to physician HR and I was blunt and stated that my goal was “not a goddamn second longer than I need to” and my retirement specialist said that I would get payment once I hit 55.  I believe if you dive into MDpeople and look at all the retirement documents there is one that talks about it.  I’ll try to find it.

     

    My biggest concern is the true funding status of the pension.  GAAP rules about pensions are kind of BS.  So when you get that nice brochure at the end of the year what do you guys make of all the massive deficits in assets versus liabilities, What do you make of the proposed 7% return they model for their returns in the pension fund which they have not hit btw, what do you make of the annual decreasing spread between the annual take in versus the annual expense for retirement obligations which in my modeling looks like we will go net negative within probably the next 5 years?  Thanks for your input.

    Click to expand…

    I have 15 yrs in also. What has your experience been and what has changed? How old are you? I have never met a single person at TPMG who understands 2 things: how the share price is calculated and the accounting booklet we get every year.

    #222433 Reply
    Avatar skeptic 
    Participant
    Status: Retired
    Posts: 7
    Joined: 05/09/2019

    I’m in my late 40’s.  I’ve always approached medicine as a job and not a calling if that makes sense.  Very little of my self identity revolves around being a physician.  My main frustration is that the “group think” model is so pervasive.  I didn’t train at the top institutions and subspecialize to have my practice be dictated by physician bureaucrats that can’t even understand the difference between statistical significance and true clinical significance.  The way that meta analysis is wielded like some cudgel is so laughable.  This whole practicing to the mean mantra of “work flow” is what will drive me out.  Unfortunately, I think it is the new bible of our group.

     

    In terms of the TPMG share price…it is quite simple…it is decided by the board.  It is a bullshit number that they have come up with.  The problem is that they have the tension of trying to have an “ideal” appreciation of share price with the financial reality that an 11% appreciation is unsustainable.  The real problem is the structure of our corporate governance (if you can call it that).  The CEO decides 49% of the board i.e. he appoints the PIC’s.  The only counter is our physican representatives (who are not independent).  Talk about an entirely f*cked up way to constitute a board of a company.  As another aside, how do you know when you seperate from the company that they don’t short change you on the share price?  In addition, is it taxed as long term then?

     

    So fundamentally my real skepticism about the viability of the pension is that it is just too good a promised benefit.  To fund 50% salary for every retiree is just not sustainable in health care.  The margins just aren’t there.  Finally, most physicians don’t understand the power dynamic between KFH and TPMG.  KFH holds the money.  We don’t.  He who holds the money….  You get what I’m saying…   There is no way KFH is going to shell out to pay this nut for our pensions.

     

    So I’m sitting here with the finger on the eject button so that once I get the hint that the pension is not viable I can then get out.   The problem is the accounting booklet is hard to analyze.  Another worrisome point is that we switched accounting firms from one of the Big 3 accounting firms to our current one something like 8 years ago?  because our former was not signing off on our accounting reports because they did not agree with them.  THIS to me was the biggest warning sign.

     

    AS an aside I also use the DCP.  My thinking is that given the 5 year kick down the road option I can use this money to cover the gap before taking payment from the pension if I eject early.

     

    So for you more sophisticated types what is the true cost of health care if I were to eject at 50 and lose the health care.  How much would it cost me to cover my health care until medicare kicks in?

     

    Also as another aside…I figure the magic age to eject if you are going to eject is around 52.  After that it seems to make sense to just suck it up and make it to 60.

     

    Sorry for the stream of consciousness posting.  It’s just how I roll.

    #222610 Reply
    Liked by cocovaii
    fatlittlepig fatlittlepig 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1196
    Joined: 01/26/2017

    Hey really enjoyed your post. In what ways was your practice dictated by the bureaucrats. I haven’t had much if any limits on my practice but I’m a hospitalist so it may have been different.
    I didn’t know about the change in accounting firms, no one understands that packet they send out. But it seems like the pension is well funded. The problem with you plan is you state you will get out if there is any whiff of an issue with the pension but the thing is your pension payments won’t start until you are at least 55 and if you start getting them that early they are significantly reduced. Once I get to 20 years credited service is when I will evaluate. I have some frustrations with the job but they are different from what you listed.

    #222619 Reply
    fatlittlepig fatlittlepig 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1196
    Joined: 01/26/2017

    I’m in my late 40’s.  I’ve always approached medicine as a job and not a calling if that makes sense.  Very little of my self identity revolves around being a physician.  My main frustration is that the “group think” model is so pervasive.  I didn’t train at the top institutions and subspecialize to have my practice be dictated by physician bureaucrats that can’t even understand the difference between statistical significance and true clinical significance.  The way that meta analysis is wielded like some cudgel is so laughable.  This whole practicing to the mean mantra of “work flow” is what will drive me out.  Unfortunately, I think it is the new bible of our group.

     

    In terms of the TPMG share price…it is quite simple…it is decided by the board.  It is a bullshit number that they have come up with.  The problem is that they have the tension of trying to have an “ideal” appreciation of share price with the financial reality that an 11% appreciation is unsustainable.  The real problem is the structure of our corporate governance (if you can call it that).  The CEO decides 49% of the board i.e. he appoints the PIC’s.  The only counter is our physican representatives (who are not independent).  Talk about an entirely f*cked up way to constitute a board of a company.  As another aside, how do you know when you seperate from the company that they don’t short change you on the share price?  In addition, is it taxed as long term then?

     

    So fundamentally my real skepticism about the viability of the pension is that it is just too good a promised benefit.  To fund 50% salary for every retiree is just not sustainable in health care.  The margins just aren’t there.  Finally, most physicians don’t understand the power dynamic between KFH and TPMG.  KFH holds the money.  We don’t.  He who holds the money….  You get what I’m saying…   There is no way KFH is going to shell out to pay this nut for our pensions.

     

    So I’m sitting here with the finger on the eject button so that once I get the hint that the pension is not viable I can then get out.   The problem is the accounting booklet is hard to analyze.  Another worrisome point is that we switched accounting firms from one of the Big 3 accounting firms to our current one something like 8 years ago?  because our former was not signing off on our accounting reports because they did not agree with them.  THIS to me was the biggest warning sign.

     

    AS an aside I also use the DCP.  My thinking is that given the 5 year kick down the road option I can use this money to cover the gap before taking payment from the pension if I eject early.

     

    So for you more sophisticated types what is the true cost of health care if I were to eject at 50 and lose the health care.  How much would it cost me to cover my health care until medicare kicks in?

     

    Also as another aside…I figure the magic age to eject if you are going to eject is around 52.  After that it seems to make sense to just suck it up and make it to 60.

     

    Sorry for the stream of consciousness posting.  It’s just how I roll.

    Click to expand…

    Do you think it’s an oxymoron to question the financials of TPMG and participate in the DCP? Also regarding the change in accounting firms, do you know that the previous did not agree with the financials as a matter of fact or are you speculating.

    #222621 Reply
    The White Coat Investor The White Coat Investor 
    Keymaster
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 4545
    Joined: 05/13/2011

    In case people don’t know about it, I actually have an advertiser/financial advisor who specializes in Kaiser docs:

    https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/eagle-west-group/

    Site/Forum Owner, Emergency Physician, Blogger, and author of The White Coat Investor: A Doctor's Guide to Personal Finance and Investing
    Helping Those Who Wear The White Coat Get A "Fair Shake" on Wall Street since 2011

    #222627 Reply
    Avatar skeptic 
    Participant
    Status: Retired
    Posts: 7
    Joined: 05/09/2019

    Not really because the longest that I kick the can down the road for my DCP is 5 years.  The death of TPMG will be a slow death.  It’s not going to be all of a sudden.  I.e. just like social security when social security goes in the “red” the payments are just reduced.  The same thing will happen to TPMG’s pension…it will be done subtly at first.   The easiest is to not give raises and allow the inflationary pressure reduce the pension obligation…then it will be actual reduction in payment.

     

    In terms of the report of the accounting change I have it right here in front of me.  Our previous account was E&Y.  The report is from 2012 auditing 2011 financials.  page 28 specifically last page of the report.  It goes through the issues that E&Y has with the audit.  I am hesitant to just scan and post given the confidential nature of these packets.  But I assure you that I’m not making it up.  Then Bam 2013 we switch to our current accounting firm.   I mean who the f*ck is Moss_Adams?  We were with E&Y and we switch to this bit player as compared To E&Y? That is not good.

    #222641 Reply
    Avatar Morbo 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 15
    Joined: 04/10/2019

    I also haven’t found any issues with TPMG dictating my medical decisions. No one has ever questioned me on a medication or test that I’ve ordered.  I agree with FLP that most complaints I hear are with other areas outside of medical decision making.

    Anyway, my understanding of pension plan funding is that basically they are comparing the assets of the pension vs the liabilities of the pension. The issue is that you have to compare future liabilities with the present value of the assets that you have now. In order to do that, you apply a discount rate to the future value of the liabilities in order to convert it to the “present value” of liabilities, then compare it with the pension assets.

    It sounds like calculating assets is relatively straight forward, however calculating liability is where it becomes more difficult.  The “effective interest rate” that is noted in the paperwork basically represents the discount rate that is used to calculate the present value of liabilities. In this case, it’s the future value of the pension liabilities vs the present value of the pension liabilities.  The higher the “effective interest rate” (i.e. discount rate) you use, the lower the present value of the liabilities is relative to the future value.  A higher effective interest rate makes your current pension funding look better because it makes the present value of your liabilities lower.

    I’m not an expert on how they figure out the effective interest rate, but I believe it is somehow based on the interest rate of US long term treasuries.  They give 2 different numbers, one based on the “Market Value” and one based on “Actuarial Value”.   I think the main difference between the 2 is that they use different effective interest rates.  The Market Value is based just on the discount rate calculated on the current market data, while the Actuarial Value is based on some other method where they use longer term data.

    I believe that Actuarial Value is somewhat dictated by law.  According to the document, the law changed in 2014/2015 which actually result in higher Effective Interest Rates.

    I’m not an expert in any of this, but just my limited understanding based on “Google”.

     

    I’m in my late 40’s.  I’ve always approached medicine as a job and not a calling if that makes sense.  Very little of my self identity revolves around being a physician.  My main frustration is that the “group think” model is so pervasive.  I didn’t train at the top institutions and subspecialize to have my practice be dictated by physician bureaucrats that can’t even understand the difference between statistical significance and true clinical significance.  The way that meta analysis is wielded like some cudgel is so laughable.  This whole practicing to the mean mantra of “work flow” is what will drive me out.  Unfortunately, I think it is the new bible of our group.

     

    In terms of the TPMG share price…it is quite simple…it is decided by the board.  It is a bullshit number that they have come up with.  The problem is that they have the tension of trying to have an “ideal” appreciation of share price with the financial reality that an 11% appreciation is unsustainable.  The real problem is the structure of our corporate governance (if you can call it that).  The CEO decides 49% of the board i.e. he appoints the PIC’s.  The only counter is our physican representatives (who are not independent).  Talk about an entirely f*cked up way to constitute a board of a company.  As another aside, how do you know when you seperate from the company that they don’t short change you on the share price?  In addition, is it taxed as long term then?

     

    So fundamentally my real skepticism about the viability of the pension is that it is just too good a promised benefit.  To fund 50% salary for every retiree is just not sustainable in health care.  The margins just aren’t there.  Finally, most physicians don’t understand the power dynamic between KFH and TPMG.  KFH holds the money.  We don’t.  He who holds the money….  You get what I’m saying…   There is no way KFH is going to shell out to pay this nut for our pensions.

     

    So I’m sitting here with the finger on the eject button so that once I get the hint that the pension is not viable I can then get out.   The problem is the accounting booklet is hard to analyze.  Another worrisome point is that we switched accounting firms from one of the Big 3 accounting firms to our current one something like 8 years ago?  because our former was not signing off on our accounting reports because they did not agree with them.  THIS to me was the biggest warning sign.

     

    AS an aside I also use the DCP.  My thinking is that given the 5 year kick down the road option I can use this money to cover the gap before taking payment from the pension if I eject early.

     

    So for you more sophisticated types what is the true cost of health care if I were to eject at 50 and lose the health care.  How much would it cost me to cover my health care until medicare kicks in?

     

    Also as another aside…I figure the magic age to eject if you are going to eject is around 52.  After that it seems to make sense to just suck it up and make it to 60.

     

    Sorry for the stream of consciousness posting.  It’s just how I roll.

    Click to expand…

    Hey really enjoyed your post. In what ways was your practice dictated by the bureaucrats. I haven’t had much if any limits on my practice but I’m a hospitalist so it may have been different.
    I didn’t know about the change in accounting firms, no one understands that packet they send out. But it seems like the pension is well funded. The problem with you plan is you state you will get out if there is any whiff of an issue with the pension but the thing is your pension payments won’t start until you are at least 55 and if you start getting them that early they are significantly reduced. Once I get to 20 years credited service is when I will evaluate. I have some frustrations with the job but they are different from what you listed.

    Click to expand…

     

    #222647 Reply
    Avatar StarTrekDoc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2055
    Joined: 01/15/2017

    @skeptic – so you retired or not? 😉

    #222648 Reply

Reply To: Kaiser Retirement Plans

In case of a glitch or error, please save your text elsewhere, clear browser cache, close browser, open browser and refresh the page.

Notifications Mark all as read  |  Clear