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Boeing lost hundreds of experienced Seattle-area engineers last month

Last month, hundreds of very experienced Seattle-area Boeing engineers walked out the door. They chose to retire early with the realization they’d have a significant cut to their pension payouts if they delayed. ( More...

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Michael Ragsdale 12
My son works for Boeing in Chicago - one of the 18 people who manage Boeing's pension money. I sent him this article - here was his response:

"The lump sum discount rate is adjusted annually, so the 2022 discount rate is still using the low interest rates from 2021. As we flip the calendar to 2023, the rate will adjust higher as rates have risen materially in 2022. For most retirees this equates to nearly a 20% difference in the lump sum payout (and these are highly paid engineers, so it's not a small number). The union bosses all figured this out and encouraged any older engineers that were considering in the next few years to retire now. So that's been fun to manage since the lump sums come out of the pension with about 2 weeks notice."
srobak 10
Many industries are facing the same situation. GM had a record number of early retirements last month for the exact same reason. Cheaper to take the early out losses than to stick it out with new higher rates. Can't blame the employees for that, also can't blame the company. Just another result of our out of control & tanking economy. Putting the screws to ourselves more and more.
Michael Ragsdale 7
Agree. Further conversation with my son - In a vast majority of cases, including Boeing, the numbers just don't work out to take the lump sum and come out ahead of an annuity. Many of the financial advisors that work with the Boeing employees recommend the lump sum so they can manage that money for the employee instead of the Boeing pension teams. A majority of the employees hate Boeing corporate and view taking the lump sum as "sticking it to the man". Pretty short sighted, IMO.
Larry Mello 3
Thanks for the inside info.
mbrews 15
From the article -

"Boeing has pushed out the launch of an all-new airplane toward the end of this decade. By then, there’ll be a limited number of senior engineers left who worked on development of the last all-new plane — the 787, delivered in 2011 — and have detailed knowledge of that complex process and its pitfalls."

Does not bode well for the future of Boeing Commercial airplanes ......
srobak 9
it's ok - by then America will be adopting the Chinese copies - just as we have for everything else.
Chris B 17
What a perfect opportunity for the engineers to open a consulting company and work on Boeing projects.
Giuseppe Ronchi 25
or... to enjoy a peaceful, relaxed life somewhere with better weather than Seattle :-)
James Simms 1
Then again On The Other Hand, they may more than their fill of Boeing Corporate & want nothing more to do w/them.
great wildblueyonder 10
I wonder if the senior Boeing bean counters (the CFO included) are cutting their own pensions and bonuses. After all if cutting is your only "management" tool it ought to extend to the cutters.
Larry Tullos 9
Sure would like to see FAA recruit inspectors from this group. I was actually hoping that part of the $25B fines Boeing paid to avoid criminal prosecution would be used to hire more inspectors since Boeing proved they cannot be trusted to do self-certifications (or whatever that process is called).
Jim Allen 7
Boeing always showed they don’t give a crap about engineers. Just another opportunity for them to offshore.
Phil Caron 4
Don't worry the sales staff will design the next aircraft, they don't need engineers, only used car salesmen, right? Another sign Boeing is going down the tubes especially if Renton does not contribute to the 787 assemblies of future sales.
Philip Lanum 2
The Renton plant does not do anything with the 787.
The 787 was designed and first built in Everett WA which is 25 odd miles North of Renton. Boeing has moved all 787 manufacturing to NC, the only ones left in Everett are ones being "fixed" due to production issues.
WD Rseven 2
Just what is a "white collar union"?
Philip Lanum 2
At Boeing it is known as SPEEA.
i.e. Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace
Donald S Brant Jr 2
It is a union of engineers, typically, in contradistinction to a blue-collar union which consists of technical or less-skilled labor personnel. Some RCA facilities had them BITD.
Mark Jenkins 1
Labor unions can represent a wide variety of classifications of workers. The worker classifications of "blue collar" and "white collar" are just two types of classifications. Government workers can be represented by public labor unions, like the National Treasury Employees Union (which has a substantial membership that might also be classified as "white collar"). Screen writers have the "Writers Guild(s) of America" (East and West) as a labor union. The "Screen Actors Guild" (now merged with the "American Federation of Television and Radio Artists" to form SAG-AFTRA) represents/represented actors.
srobak 2
Lots of entities went through this exercise in the past month... including Boeing, GM, CPD and a host of others.

The companies are reacting to inflation and interest rates - can't blame them too much for that. The losses are going to affect a multitude of companies and industries. With the utter lack of skilled trades coming up from the entitled youth - it is going to have a devastating effect on our nation in about another half-generation, and will make us more reliant upon certain foreign entities even moreso than we are now.

Industry, engineering and innovation as a whole are dying a much more rapid death than people realize.
jbermo 2
This is the collateral damage of our present administration for greatly helping inflation along by injecting trillions of fake $$ money thru needless government handouts.
Charles Lindbergh 1
Absolute baloney. The engineers knew a good deal and took it. Boeing knew this would happen and has been advertising for engineers and promoting within all year.
I haven't received any handouts since the last administration. What handouts?
avionik99 2
So what was the average "Lump sum" amount they received?? That would have been a good thing to have stated in the article!!!
wayne holder 2
I don't think they can get that information on what each engineer would receive. Personal finances are just that and no else's business but the bottom line is they would lose 20% of their investment so I don't blame them for leaving now.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

jeff slack 22
Their is the possessive pronoun, as in "their car is red"; there is used as an adjective, "he is always there for me," a noun, "get away from there," and, chiefly, an adverb, "stop right there"; they're is a contraction of "they are," as in "they're getting married."
Nultech 15
Good grammar is becoming a lost art.
Michael Dealey 7
This is true. My pet peeve is the misuse of (or non-use) of the correct past participles.

"The company was ran into the ground by an incompetent CEO".
"He tried to hide but I'd already saw him".

It's like nails on a chalkboard.
Well said Jeff! This is creeping in more and more. In some cases it actually leads to ambiguity, which defeats the whole purpose of communication!
Rich Boddy 3
Why do you even speak?
ffrcobra1 1
Yes, we should insist that people who spent 4 years of their life to get an education degree (and quite possibly 2 more years to get a masters) live in a hovel and drive vehicles no newer than a 20 year old rattle trap that breaks down every time they’re on their way to Office Max to buy classroom supplies with their own money. Impoverishing wages are always the surest way of attracting the best candidates to any job.
Roger Wolf 3
The breakdown of relationships between corporate America and its workers is nothing new. History shows that when the contract between parties is broken, stretched, or gas-lighted then there is nothing but ill will and anger left. When empathy, respect, and corporate loyalty by workers are discounted and placed under the need for ever higher profits and when higher stock prices are directly linked to management income then there is little to be done. If corporate America wants to change the rules of engagement, then it is time to remember that education isolated as a sole criterion will not win the race.
godutch 0
Actually, I might agree with you EXCEPT they are not teaching Reading, writing, math, science, etc, etc, they spend time teaching that America is a terrible place and they concentrate on race separation and transgender studies, etc, etc. If they will concentrate on traditional education subjects and computer sciences, I'd be on your side Cobra. Right now, hell no.
Tim Brink 7
I couldn't agree more... Public schools are the source of many problems facing young Americans.
jim hanson 5
Second that observation!
Rich Boddy -2
I take it you don't even have a child in school right now and you get all your information from all your right-wing retard buddies on Facebook?
doublet 2
"godutch" is not too far from the truth. I retired from teaching in 2016. While there are many dedicated teachers still in the classroom, admin holds sway over what is taught. And some of that is dogma and not core concepts.
but they have special cat bathrooms with litter boxes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Daniel Gless 0
Obvious that your education hasn't worked out well for you has it Ain't that a pity...8-)
Carlen Kirby 0
Not to worry. At the current rate of loss of pilots, mainly due to a Federal Aviation ruling that pilots have mandatory retirement at age 65, there may not be any pilots to fly any new airliners. So why does Boeing need to worry about new plane development? Sarcasm of course. But as an ATP that will be forced to retire in a few months, I can verify this one fact. There is now and will remain to be a pilot shortage in the airline industry. This year alone, it is estimated 6,800 ATPs will retire, mostly due to the age restriction.

This as a side note: If these senior Boeing engineers are so gifted, then why all the “engineering” problems with the Boeing Max and Dreamliner? Just saying…
Valerie Scott 3
Classic, blaming the engineers for managements incompetence, greed and disregard for safety in lieu of bottom-line quarterly profits meant to prop up the stock price and appease wall street instead of customers. You do realize how difficult it is to design and build these machines...


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