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Former Car Czar Will Testify About Abandoned Delphi Pensions

About 70,000 Delphi employees lost retirement plans under bankruptcy.

by on Jun.21, 2011

Former auto czar Ron Bloom will be facing some tough questioning on the GM bailout and Delphi bankruptcy.

Former White House “Car Czar” Ron Bloom will be one of those called to testify in what could be an angry Congressional session looking into the long-term impact of the General Motors bailout.

Among other things, lawmakers are expected to focus on the decision to abandon the pension program run by Delphi, GM’s former parts subsidiary.  Delphi, which underwent the longest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history, walked away from a program that covered about 70,000 retirees.  Some have lost as much as 65% of their benefits.

Among others called to testify will be Vince Snowbarger, the deputy director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the agency created to assume control of failed pension programs.  Delphi’s pension program was underfunded by $7 billion, and the PBGC will cover $6.1 billion of that – making it the second-largest failed pension program ever assumed by the agency.

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While Delphi did not receive a direct federal bailout, its survival – and eventual emergence from Chapter 11 – depended on its ongoing relationship with GM.  That was enough to bring it under the umbrella of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which will be holding a Wednesday hearing titled, “Lasting Implications of the General Motors Bailout.”