Defined benefits retirement plans are standard in the electric industry. Is it necessary to offer retirement benefits to attract and retain skilled workers in the electric utility industry?
This issue is open to debate in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Region.
As a utility executive, I participate in numerous discussions regarding workforce training, succession planning, as well as emergency and storm preparation. From my perspective, one of the greatest threats to the electric utility industry is the potential 3-year employment revolving door that dominates the thinking of a multi-generational workforce in today’s competitive market.
The tough question, of course, in a regulated business, is how to strike a balance between costs and incentivized benefits capable of sustaining a workforce. Some variable cannot be sacrificed, including specialized expertise, security, safety, and training. Without belaboring the details of the variables mentioned, I believe that it is obvious that electric utility work is not geared for the 3-year revolving door employment tenure.
Pepco believes that it has struck the right balance by offering compensation and benefits, including a retirement plan, that assures its customers a continuous skilled workforce at a reasonable cost which is incorporated in the cost of service.
Beverly Perry — SVP, External Affairs Pepco Holdings, Inc.