November 2004 
Volume 03, Issue 7 
Special Features

Seize the match; shape your future

Harry StonecipherNot much shocks me anymore. But when I found out that Boeing employees left $96.8 million on the table in 2003, my eyebrows shot up.

That amount is how much more Boeing would have matched employee contributions to the Voluntary Investment Plan (or VIP, Boeing's company-sponsored individual 401(k) savings plan) if all eligible employees had saved enough to maximize the company match.

Boeing wants to help employees build their futures. And the company's savings match is just one example. Health benefits, pension benefits, pay programs, learning and development opportunities—these have all been designed to help employees live comfortably now and help provide a more secure retirement.

But we need your help to make these programs even more valuable. I am asking you to get involved in planning for your future, to take action, to do everything you can to make the most of your Boeing experience and the opportunities that Boeing provides. Do things, like research the quality of your health care providers and strive for wellness; seek out and accept opportunities that will help you learn and develop; and save enough to earn the full savings match.

Why does Boeing care about such things?

In the United States, rising health care costs are a serious business issue. By working together, employees, the company, insurers and health care providers have made progress on slowing the rate of these increases. Projections were that Boeing and its people would experience about a 15 percent increase in the cost of health care in 2004, and now it looks like we'll end up closer to 13 percent. Progress is always good, but 13 percent is still a significant bump. And more increases are predicted.

We're asking for your continued help. Take advantage of preventive and wellness services. Find doctors and hospitals with records reflecting the highest quality of care to help promote successful treatment outcomes. Ask your doctors if your prescriptions have less-costly alternatives. Being a careful health care buyer will help you and your loved ones obtain quality care—and will help Boeing continue to offer health care plans that are affordable for both you and the company.

Development is another area in which you can affect your own future. Managing your professional or technical development is not just your manager's job. Step up to the plate, take the initiative and have lively discussions with your manager and others you trust. When setting goals, aim high. I'd rather see us set the bar high and almost meet our stretch goals—than set goals that are too easy just to check them off our list. Make an effort to understand Boeing's business strategy and what you can do to contribute to our success. Learn new skills.

Then there's retirement. Whether your retirement is a long way off or right around the corner, we encourage you to think about your financial goals and take steps to meet them. Boeing offers most U.S. employees both a pension plan and savings plan match, and we also contribute to Social Security. In other countries, we follow competitive practices in local markets.

Government funds and company-paid pension plans alone likely won't be enough to achieve your desired post-retirement income level. You need to supplement these contributions by saving through the VIP or other similar plans—ideally, saving enough to take advantage of the full company match—and by building your own personal savings.

If you need some tips, take advantage of the resources available through Boeing. You can get a financial consultation through the Employee Assistance Program or take classes available through the Boeing Education Network. If retirement's quickly approaching, look into attending one of our retirement seminars. Please do everything you can to ensure you have a financially secure retirement—so you can enjoy yourself fully.

We're in this together. The company will do its part. Please do yours.


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