Firestone Liberia Announces Changes to its Pension Program

Harbel, Liberia – (March 14, 2019), Firestone Liberia, Inc. has announced changes to its employee pension program, effective March 1, in accordance with the Decent Work Act, and per previous and ongoing communications with its employees and retirees.

Moving Forward, Firestone Liberia will cease company-direct pension payments for retirees who qualify for, and are due, pension payments by National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) – in accordance with the law. In situations where current retirees do not qualify for a full 40% pension from NASSCORP (40% of the retiree’s final pay amount), Firestone Liberia will make up the balance, ensuring that retirees receive the maximum 40% pension amount.

The company’s transition to NASSCORP administered pensions is only for retirees who qualify for a NASSCORP pension. For current Firestone Liberia pensioners who do not qualify for a NASSCORP pension, Firestone Liberia will continue to honor its pension obligations, through company-direct pension payments, as in the past.

As we work thorough this transition, Firestone Liberia is committed to keeping an open dialogue with its employees and retirees to answer questions and address any concerns that may arise.

Pension Transition Clarification:

Major Changes with This Transition

a.     All persons retired from Firestone Liberia after March 1, 2019 will only receive a NASSCORP pension at NASSCORP rates.

b.     All persons retired before March 1, 2019 will receive the maximum pension amount (40%) from either Firestone Liberia, NASSCORP or a combination of the two.

Retirees Not Transitioning to NASSCORP-administered Program

Firstone will continue to provide pension benefits to those retirees who do not qualify for NASSCORP. This includes:

  • Current retirees who stopped working before NASSCORP came into existence in 1986.
  • Current retirees who made less than 100 monthly contributions to NASSCORP at the time of their retirement – even if they have received a NASSCORP refund of contributions paid.

Administration of NASSCORP-administered Pensions

Each current retiree who qualifies for a pension from NASSCORP will receive his/her pension benefits directly from NASSCORP. If the pension amount received from NASCORP totals less than 40% of the retiree’s final pay at the time of retirements, Firestone Liberia will pay the difference to reach the 40% amount.

Verification Process of Firestone Pensioners

Generally accepted laws and practices regarding regular and or periodic verification of pensioners are necessary to safeguard against fraud. Firestone Liberia conducts a monthly verification process though an electronic biometric system to accomplish this. Additionally, from December 2018 to February 2019, Firestone conducted an additional verification process, encouraging all pensioners who have not been verified for the past 12 months to report to Firestone Liberia to be officially verified. Firestone Liberia will implement all necessary policies to regulate payments regarding unverifiable accounts in accordance with standard industry acceptable practices and Liberian law.

 

About Firestone Natural Rubber Company, LLC: 

Firestone Natural Rubber Company, LLC traces its origins back to 1926 when The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company first established a natural rubber production facility in Liberia, West Africa. The company operates a 118,000 -acre rubber growing and processing facility, employing approximately 6,500 teammates who harvest and process natural rubber. After processing, the natural rubber is shipped to Bridgestone Americas’ tire plans in North America for the manufacture of tires. Firestone Natural Rubber Company, LLC is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas, Inc.