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GM, Chrysler Retirees to Regain Some Key Benefits

Dental, vision care on list, according to union.

by on Sep.23, 2011

GM and Chrysler retirees will get some of their health care cuts restored in 2012.

Though they were largely left out when General Motors and the United Auto Workers Union hammered out a new 4-year contract last week it looks like retirees at GM – as well as Chrysler – may have something to cheer about after all.

They will see a restoration of some of the medical benefits they lost as part of earlier concessions made to help the two automakers survive their 2009 bankruptcies, according to a posting made by a UAW union local on its Facebook page.

In the Know!

GM and Chrysler retirees have had to pay for their own vision and dental care for the last two years but will now get at least some of that coverage restored, according to the letter from the director of care and benefit management for the so-called VEBA program established jointly by the UAW and the makers to take over retiree health care.

The additional coverage appears limited, however, the restored vision care allowing for exams every other year.


GM Salaried Retiree Benefits Cut by Two-Thirds

As part of its Bankruptcy Reorganization, the company is making "difficult changes."

by on Jun.09, 2009

When GM went into bankruptcy protection on June 1, it said that significant sacrifices on the part of salaried employees and retirees would be required. Now, some details of the radical changes coming are starting to emerge. 

In a letter to retirees, GM CEO Fritz Henderson said certain benefits are being trimmed by two-thirds, with biggest cuts starting at the top. 

Currently, all executive retirees with an Executive Retirement Plan (“ERP,” formerly SERP) benefit have been subject to a temporary reduction of at least 10% since May 1, 2009. However, when New GM emerges from bankruptcy, that 10% cut will become permanent. For exec retirees with benefits of more than $100,000 annually, the amount above $100,000 will be cut by two-thirds. Life insurance under the Supplemental Life Benefits Program (SLBP) and Supplemental Group Life Insurance Program (SGLI) are being eliminated.

Retiree Health Care

Effective January 1, 2010, GM’s Salaried Health Care Program will be further reduced for salaried retirees, surviving spouses and their eligible dependents. Individuals affected by this change include:

  • Salaried retirees, surviving spouses and their dependents eligible to enroll or who currently are enrolled in the GM Salaried Health Care Program.
  • Current employees who are eligible to enroll in the GM Salaried Health Care Program upon retirement.

The new plan will include benefits and coverage for medical and prescription drugs only. Dental, vision, and extended care coverage will be cancelled. Cost sharing provisions (e.g., monthly contributions, deductibles, coinsurance and out of pocket maximums) will increase substantially(more…)

GM Bankruptcy Could Cripple White-Collar Retirees

"Not fair, right or legal," critics contend.

by on Jun.03, 2009

GM retirees could lose much of their benefits as the result of their bankruptcy.  Senior executives, such as now-retired V.Chairman Bob Lutz, could lose millions, enough, he admitted, to make it hard to afford another jet.

GM retirees could their benefits during bankruptcy proceedings. Senior execs, such as now-retired Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, will lose millions, enough, he admitted, to make it hard to afford another jet.

The proposed fast-track sale of  the productive assets of General Motors Corporation to the  “New GM”  as part of  bankruptcy proceedings calls for the UAW to get  notes and GM stock in lieu of $20 billion in cash owed to a heath care trust  for retirees. The stock is potentially worth nothing or maybe a fortune  if — big if — the company and the economy revive. Even so, it is highly likely that some benefits will have to be trimmed and or eliminated in the future.

For  salaried retirees, however, the equation is different.  They’re in to get nothing – except the promise from the company that critical benefits will not be cut or eliminated critics say.

“That’s not fair, right or legal,” contends GM Retiree Association  president John Christie. “If GM wants a record-speed drive through bankruptcy, we need to make sure salaried retirees aren’t run over on the way to the finish line.”

“It is critical for salaried retirees to have an effective voice through a committee,” said Dean Gloster of Farella Braun & Martel, the San Francisco law firm recruited by the GMRA to watch out for the interest of salaried retirees.  “Going through Chapter 11 without representation,” he added, “is like going to a gunfight without a gun and the result would be just as final and predictable.”

GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said the automaker intends to honor commitments made to salaried retirees.  However, GM is working with the U.S. Treasury to reduce some retiree benefits, including executive pensions, company officials acknowledged. The UAW has already agreed to substantial reductions in benefits.