Ask Tara: How many incorrect pension statements?

An occasional look at questions I ask official Gannett flack Tara Connell. (Who knows? Maybe we’ll even get answers!)

June 18, 2008


Roxanne Horning has told some employees that they received pension statements containing errors. Her e-mail notes: “Very few of the 26,000 statements we sent have this error.”

1. How many statements contained errors?
2. What was the specific “data glitch” Horning blames for these errors?
3. Given employees’ already frayed nerves about the pension freeze, what steps did Gannett take to guarantee these statements would be error-free?

Thank you.


Got an impertinent question for Ask Tara? Post it in the comments section, below. You’ll be glad you did! Or send it to me confidentially from a non-work computer, using this link; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.


8 Responses to “Ask Tara: How many incorrect pension statements?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    The stuff of all of this angst, anger, and frustration is this…

    How well does Gannett handle adversity? handle the delicate PR?
    deal with controversy? balance the human equation?

    So far, it has been a failure.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Can’t these people do ANYTHING right?

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Does anyone out there have any idea how to check and see if your pension calculation is correct?

    I read your blog entries about the ones that Gannett admitted to miscalculating, but how can anyone be sure?

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Anonymous said…
    Does anyone out there have any idea how to check and see if your pension calculation is correct?

    I read your blog entries about the ones that Gannett admitted to miscalculating, but how can anyone be sure?

    What a shame – we have to take this as it is. Because they don’t even know themselves – how can they tell us???? I hope they choke on their lies!!!!!!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    How sad that I once considered Tara one of the real straight shooters, even a friend, when she was still in the USAT newsroom. Just goes to show that money and VP titles can turn anyone into a puppet. Of course, there is a lot that’s sad about the industry these days, and some of the worst morale ever exists right there at the flagship paper. Tara went corporate right about the time of the decline in newsroom spirit and talent. However, in comparison to what is going on with USAT and the horrors of the online merger now, it’s hard to imagine a more spiritless time in the history of the nation’s newspaper. The paper and the newsroom are self destructing under the guidance of some of the worst double-talking leadership I’ve seen in 30 years in the industry. Editors are so afraid to lose their jobs that they are passively walking off the cliff and taking their staffs with them, trying to sell them on the view! Many journalists left on their own as age discrimination began rearing its ugly head in subtle and not so subtle ways. If nothing else, Tara is safer over in corporate than at USAT, as long as she keeps selling out, that is. Don’t expect honest answers from her office or anywhere within the ME ranks at USAT. MEs are more interested in their bonuses than integrity. There is no difference between a Gannett PR person and high-level editors anymore. In a time when strong and ethical leadership could help morale, most MEs have their heads in the sand, pretending that large chunks of their staff never left, and are driving their remaining print people into the ground. The editor and executive editor set the tone and the MEs follow. So, in a way, what Tara is doing in corporate is no more deceitful or manipulative than what is currently going on in the newsroom. Folks, the business is on life support. It’s going to be taken over by techno-geeks, accountants and PR people.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t seen mention of what gannett did to the people of The Asbury Park Press.

    Apparently the original pension statement was another “mistake.”

    The first pension statements were based on a person’s total time at The Press. Then it was discovered that was a “mistake” and that our pensions would be based only since the time Gannett bought The Press.

    However, the people who have been around since Gannett bought The Press clearly remember that we would be grandfathered into the pension plans. Some of us are searching for any written materials since the takeover, but there may not be any.

    (Which may be why this “mistake” was suddenly “discovered” [created?].)

  7. Jim Hopkins Says:

    As of this moment, Tara Connell has still not responded to my questions.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    I’m at the Asbury Park Press and am thoroughly confused.

    They sent the letter saying to disregard the first set of pension figures, but then I received only one set of figures.

    I don’t know if this is the one I’m supposed to ignore, or if they caught what they wanted to change before I got my payout figures, which were half what I anticipated.

    I’ve had horrible experience trying uselessly to get information from our HR ever since Mike Lorenca left. Just thinking about asking anyone in HR a question makes me want to cry.

    I don’t remember Gannett saying one way or another about grandfathering us in, but I heard that recently. I forget who told me — a colleague who keeps track of this kind of stuff.

    When I mentioned the lump-sum payout we got when the families sold to Gannett, and that I thought that was our pre-Gannett pension, this person was absolutely certain that wasn’t so.

    I’ve looked this packet over twice and I’ll be damned if I can find a way to see for myself whether it’s calculated correctly.

    It’s as if we’re going to take what they say we’ll get, because we don’t have information to appeal even if we had an appeal route. That’s slavery, not employment.

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