Welfare Notes - December 2003

December, 2003

On December 17, the Trustees of the Money Purchase Pension Plan (MPP) met and unanimously voted to change the investment structure of the Plan. Currently the Plan’s portfolio is managed by Dodge and Cox. After examining the investment opportunities for the Plan, the Trustees decided to move the funds to Columbia Management Group, where the funds will be initially invested in the Columbia Stable Value Fund. Columbia is an asset management company headquartered in Portland, Oregon, with $140 billion in investment assets and is also ranked as one of the top twenty mutual fund managers in the United States. In addition Columbia Management is familiar with the working of the SUP Welfare Plan, as they have managed our 401(k) Plan since its inception.

The changes to the Plan will offer many new benefits to Plan participants. Members will start seeing the results of these new changes on January 1, 2004. Previously the Money Purchase Pension Plan worked off a fiscal year from August 1 to July 31 to coincide with the SUP Welfare Plan’s fiscal year. Beginning with the New Year both the Money Purchase Pension Plan and the 401(k) will convert to a much more convenient calendar year from January 1 to December 31. The transfer of assets from Dodge and Cox will occur on December 31, and Columbia Management will open our new account on January 1, 2004.

In the past, individual Money Purchase Pension Plan statements were mailed once a year from the Plan office. Now Columbia will mail statements quarterly with a detailed financial analysis of your individual portfolio. Your statement will include investment gains and balances as well as a detailed report of shipping contributions including dates and voyage numbers. Those members who participate in the 401(k) Plan will receive both statements together, and will reflect your financial activity in both plans. Not only will these statements provide participants with consolidated investment information, but all participating members will be able to contact Columbia Management directly for up-to-date account information by either phone or online.

In order to inform participating members, a detailed letter of the new changes will be mailed from the Plan Office before the end of 2003. During the first quarter of 2004 SUP Welfare Representative Rich Reed and Columbia Management account manager Joan Steel will attend the monthly branch membership meetings, a schedule of dates will be in the January 2004 West Coast Sailors.

The SUP Welfare Plan wishes all members at sea and ashore Happy Holidays and a profitable 2004.