At some recent membership meetings, it came to our attention that a significant number of newer members didn’t know they had a pension, how that pension functions, and/or its value. From that observation, it became clear that the Union needs to engage in an education campaign to inform members of their retirement benefits.

To be clear, every ESC member employed at PG&E has an ERISA Act-protected defined benefit pension funded by the PG&E pension plan. An ERISA-protected defined benefit pension is the gold standard of retirement benefits.

There are two pension plans for unionized employees at PG&E:

  1. Final Pay Pension: Employees hired prior to 2013.
  2. Cash Balance Pension: Employees hired after 2012 (or before 2013, but opted into the cash balance plan) are eligible for a 2.4% additional 401K match from PG&E.

The Union is planning a series of informational bulletins and meetings to discuss the significant value of both retirement packages and how to maximize your benefits. In the meantime, the Union recommends that you familiarize yourself with your retirement benefits. You can estimate your retirement benefits with a retirement calculator and find the summary of the Benefits Handbook with the details of the pension plan that PG&E provides at

PG&E will soon be sending out a benefits survey to all employees. It’s more than just a routine survey. This survey is a critical opportunity to make your voice heard about the importance of maintaining these vital benefits. PG&E will likely use the results of the bargaining survey in upcoming contract negotiations and may conclude the benefit is not valued if you fail to fill out the survey. As a member of ESC, you possess a powerful tool for securing a stable retirement: your pension.

In Solidarity,

Francisco Preciado, ESC Executive Director