Kodak is already in bankruptcy, so killing off pensions may actually be on the table.
Kodak doesn't need to analyze old products to find out what was in them, as they already have all of the files. Also, an Azo replacement is already produced.
Some of the products have changed because some components are no longer available. I've heard tell that Techpan's base material was discontinued, and HIE can't be made on the current coating equipment. (One of the film store guys said that Fuji isn't offering Acros 400 in 120 because one of the component coating chemicals is now banned in Japan because it's too toxic.)
So some things won't be back, ever.
How can Kodak film survive? I honestly don't know the future, because it depends on the consumer base. There are two main film groups: commercial and consumer. Commercial is the motion picture film industry, and consumer is everyone else. Let's say the commercial line dries up because there's a cheap RED 80Mp camera, and all of the big cinemas go to all digital, no film. How much demand is there for the consumer side of film? Is that enough to keep Kodak's coating machines profitable? I doubt it.
I shoot LF, and I don't have the storage space, anywhere at all, to freeze 8x10 film. So when Kodak says goodbye to LF color, that's it for me. There is no Fuji LF color on the local shelves. None. I will get what is in stock at the local shop, and then there will be nothing after that. It will be B&W in LF, unless I build a color seperation camera on my own. Not out of the question, but it also isn't easy.
The Kodak board had some blue-sky thoughts, too, and hired Perez. Sorry, wrong strategy. Kodak invented the boat, and then missed the boat, end of story.
what they really need is to create the an eye
like the brother from another planet had ...
or a bluetooth chip in the back of our heads so we can all do "thoughgraphy"
So in the US, does a company hold the funds to employees' pensions? I have a UK based company pension which is managed by a separate finance company. My employer has no access to the funds and in the case of bankruptcy, the funds would still be there for me.
Originally Posted by Brian C. Miller
I am not an expert on pensions, but it is my understanding that the answer to your question depends on the company. However, in most cases pension funds are under control of the company and are therefore vulnerable in a bankruptcy. There is some kind of government insurance plan that may cover part of the pension loss to the employees if a company cancels its pension plan, but I don't think it provides 100% coverage.
Originally Posted by Steve Smith
It depends on the company. Some US companies have actually been raiding the pension funds. Other companies use a seperate firm to administer the funds, so they are always secure.
Originally Posted by Steve Smith
My Kodak retirement is in the Eastman Kodak Employees’ Savings and Investment Plan (SIP) handled by T. Rowe Price. The email from T. Rowe Price, dated 20 January states "Effective February 1, 2012, there will be important changes to the Fixed Income Fund". This fund will be changed to US 1 to 5 year bonds at ~3.8 %. I do not know what will be come the other funds.
The Kodak website - http://www.kodaktransforms.com/ - that was set up to inform about the bankruptcy, says:
1) the bankruptcy only directly impacts US employees and retirees; and
2) the following:
"Kodak Retirement Income Plan Benefits
What will happen to my Kodak Retirement Income Plan (KRIP),benefit
Currently it is expected that there will be no impact on the amount of KRIP benefits or the payment of monthly annuities, given that the Plan is well funded and neither Kodak nor its creditors have access to KRIP’s assets.
Are the assets of the KRIP protected from creditors’ claims in the Chapter 11 proceedings?
Yes. Assets in Kodak’s qualified pension plans, including the KRIP, are held in a separate trust and are not part of Kodak’s assets. U.S. federal law protects qualified pension plan assets from the claims of Kodak’s creditors and a federal agency, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, insures payments up to a certain level.
Will the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) take over KRIP, and if it does what will happen?
Generally the PBGC, a government agency, will take control of KRIP only if Kodak goes out of business or cannot make required contributions to the Plan, neither of which is currently anticipated. If the PBGC takes over, it will terminate the Plan, but will pay your benefits earned prior to the termination, although they will have to be paid as an annuity and may be reduced depending on the Plan’s funding. You can get more information from the PBGC’s website: www.pbgc.gov."