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Retired From G.M. at 54. Pensionless at 74?
New York Times ^ | June 30, 2009 | Mary Williams Walsh

Posted on 07/01/2009 6:12:21 AM PDT by reaganaut1

General Motors is using its huge pension fund in a way it never intended.

It had planned — and put money aside — for a steady march of retirees over time. But instead, tens of thousands of blue-collar workers, most in their 40s and 50s, are all becoming eligible for retirement benefits now, as the company rapidly downsizes.

And even as its pension fund faces this giant bulge in payouts, G.M. is not putting any new money in — the company is not required to make any contributions to the fund until 2013.

The longer this goes on, the weaker the fund will be and the more uncertain its long-term viability.

For now, the pension payments to its younger “retirees,” part of a deal G.M. negotiated with the United Automobile Workers union in 2007, allow the company to drastically shrink its work force without having to come up with the cash to pay severance. The payments also relieve some of the burden on social service programs in the countless factory towns and counties around the country with large numbers of G.M.’s newly jobless.

“G.M. basically raided the pension plan, by having a lot of these severance benefits paid through it,” said Douglas J. Elliott, a fellow with the Brookings Institution who specializes in financial institutions and policy.

What G.M. has done is perfectly legal. Nor is this the first time an employer has used a pension fund to pay for pruning its ranks. Well-subsidized early retirements are a time-honored practice in the public sector, where teachers often retire after 30 years and police officers can sometimes claim rich pensions after working as few as 20 years.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: automakers; brookingsinstitution; douglaselliott; douglasjelliott; generalmotors; gm; pensionfunds; pensions; retirement

1 posted on 07/01/2009 6:12:21 AM PDT by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1

What were these idiots doing in the intervening twenty years????


2 posted on 07/01/2009 6:14:01 AM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Spktyr

If it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Where is the UAW now?


3 posted on 07/01/2009 6:16:29 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: reaganaut1

I smell another bailout coming.....


4 posted on 07/01/2009 6:17:03 AM PDT by St. Louis Conservative
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To: Spktyr

I’m sure that there is stimulus money in Washington, they’ll keep giving it out, there is no end to their VAST supply. Never fear, Obama is here...my poor child. We have nothing to fear but fear itself. These are just WORDS>


5 posted on 07/01/2009 6:18:04 AM PDT by rovenstinez
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To: AppyPappy

Where is the UAW now?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Pleasuring the driver at the WH.


6 posted on 07/01/2009 6:19:52 AM PDT by eleni121 (The New Byzantium - resurrect it!)
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To: reaganaut1

Don’t worry, the government will bail them all out.

The government will bail out everyone except for the taxpayer.


7 posted on 07/01/2009 6:20:35 AM PDT by NaughtiusMaximus (Uh, Mr. President, did you lose your contact lense OR ARE YOU PRAYING?)
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To: reaganaut1

I say give Bernie Madoff a chance to redeem himself by running the GM pension fund. He’ll be much more creative than obama’s czars trying to keep a ponzi afloat with taxpayer money


8 posted on 07/01/2009 6:21:23 AM PDT by silverleaf ("Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal ( Martin Luther King))
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To: reaganaut1
Obama will just give them more taxpayer money.

Any idiot could figure that out.

9 posted on 07/01/2009 6:22:04 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims reserve the right to kill anyone who says otherwise.)
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To: Spktyr
What were these idiots doing in the intervening twenty years???? From my limited observation, NOT starting second careers. The pensions were high enough to encourage most of them just to take it easy. Did not have to worry about sending kids through college, because they did not believe in doing that. Kids went from high school into the factories, expecting the same deal their father's got. Sort of like the kid who inherited his father's car dealership.
10 posted on 07/01/2009 6:22:07 AM PDT by RobbyS (ECCE homo)
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To: St. Louis Conservative

I don’t know. 74 years of age is a little to old for Obama to allow them to live. After the pension dries out, they will just have to go in a corner a die, and get out of the way, quit being a drain on society.


11 posted on 07/01/2009 6:22:17 AM PDT by uptoolate (Primaries mean something - Conservative means Conservative)
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To: reaganaut1

“And even as its pension fund faces this giant bulge in payouts, G.M. is not putting any new money in — the company is not required to make any contributions to the fund until 2013.”

So what? We have a government who is doling out money for Social Security by borrowing it.

Let the union sympathizers get in the same shape the rest of the country is: suck it up!


12 posted on 07/01/2009 6:22:55 AM PDT by bestintxas
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To: reaganaut1

Union workers screwing each other rather than a company or the taxpayers? Cry me a river... /s


13 posted on 07/01/2009 6:23:18 AM PDT by GOPJ (Duke University official offers to SELL a black five year old for rape parties & the MSM looks away?)
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To: reaganaut1

....no where in the article do they mention Obama’s meddling in GM’s affairs....that’s the NY Times for you.


14 posted on 07/01/2009 6:23:28 AM PDT by STONEWALLS
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To: RobbyS

“The pensions were high enough to encourage most of them just to take it easy.”

I agree. I’ve read about some complaining that they are having a tougher time making ends meet on the second home upstate they own.

Reminder: These are blue collar workers just assembling parts. Not to disparage them, but why should what they vault them into the upper tier of workers?


15 posted on 07/01/2009 6:25:00 AM PDT by bestintxas
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To: reaganaut1

Wow. People expect to be paid for not working for 30 years or more. Is there no end to the increasing numbers of looters in society? When did retirement grow into something that people expect to spend half of their adult years receiving? How can any society afford it?

Answer: It can’t.


16 posted on 07/01/2009 6:26:52 AM PDT by Seruzawa (Obamalama lied, the republic died.)
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To: RobbyS

My Dad retired from his first job at 62 and worked his second job for another 4 years.

My father in law worked in constructive until he was 60.

I have a hard time drumming up sympathy for a 54 year old retiree.


17 posted on 07/01/2009 6:27:50 AM PDT by CaptainK (...please make it stop. Shake a can of pennies at it.)
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To: reaganaut1

The ‘70’s should have been the writing on the wall for the “big 3” auto workers and their offspring. If they don’t get bailed out, which unfortunately I think they will, then they should start looking for real work. I don’t care what happens to them.


18 posted on 07/01/2009 6:28:03 AM PDT by mikey_hates_everything
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To: uptoolate
Obama will just say they have Social Security so they don't need a pension. For those of us with military retirements, watch out for doubling dipping provisions coming along that will disallow military retirement and social security payments. Could happen to people with 401k and/or IRAs too.
19 posted on 07/01/2009 6:28:41 AM PDT by dblshot
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To: reaganaut1

Ah, unions, liberals, and politicians. All math illiterate.

All greedy.

And none capable of creating anything.

What a country!


20 posted on 07/01/2009 6:28:56 AM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: uptoolate
After the pension dries out, they will just have to go in a corner a die,

It's okay, they get a pain pills. The Boy-King said so.

21 posted on 07/01/2009 6:28:57 AM PDT by ladyvet (WOLVERINES!!!!!)
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To: reaganaut1

Oh let everyone who saved give their money via taxes to the poor union a$$holes who got paid an awful lot to do very little and then didn’t save a nickle.


22 posted on 07/01/2009 6:29:14 AM PDT by from occupied ga (Your most dangerous enemy is your own government,)
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To: reaganaut1

I’m sure Osama will allow them to jettison their pension liabilities, dumping the obligations onto the taxpayers.

That’s what has happened with the bankrupt airlines and probably every other bankrupt company that had a pension. You and I are paying for it.


23 posted on 07/01/2009 6:29:21 AM PDT by VeniVidiVici (ABC-AP-MSNBC-All Obama, All the time.)
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To: reaganaut1
Big deal. How many people have lost their savings and retirement due to Obama. How about Social Security fund that get raided each year so that congress can fund their pork. If we were able to invest the same of money at the lowest interest rates we could get $13,000 a month income instead of IOU’s. Social Security could have been a huge asset instead of a tool of submission.
24 posted on 07/01/2009 6:29:30 AM PDT by mountainlion (concerned conservative.)
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To: reaganaut1

I must be a cheap date. I could live on half of what that character in the story is complaining about.


25 posted on 07/01/2009 6:31:57 AM PDT by Daisyjane69
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To: mikey_hates_everything
The ‘70’s
Ah yes the age of the muscle car. Who would have thought that GTO would eventually mean Government Take Over.
26 posted on 07/01/2009 6:32:16 AM PDT by dblshot
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Obama will just give them more taxpayer money.

Why not? He can always just print more.

Maybe Obama can get his friends at the Treasury to start printing Obama's picture on the next trillion dollars that they shovel into Democrat pet projects and left wing groups like ACORN.

27 posted on 07/01/2009 6:38:28 AM PDT by Bubba_Leroy (The Obamanation Crisis - America Held Hostage)
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To: reaganaut1

I told my good friend last year when he was taking the $62,500 (skilled trades) buyout and retiring, that the union/company/government would find a way to screw all the retirees by reducing benefits/pay or we the taxpayers would have to pick up the tab. The retirees collectively grow feeble and their voices become faint. They become expendable. Government/fascist/national-socialist health care anyone?

The article never gets to the root cause, this microcosm of socialism...why it doesn’t work, its false hope, the destruction it leaves in its wake.


28 posted on 07/01/2009 6:42:42 AM PDT by PGalt
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To: reaganaut1

Thanks Obama


29 posted on 07/01/2009 6:44:39 AM PDT by theDentist (qwerty ergo typo : i type, therefore i misspelll)
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To: bestintxas

Did you forget that the government owns GM? Therefore, the government is setting a bad exampe for privately owned companies.


30 posted on 07/01/2009 6:45:55 AM PDT by monocle
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To: dblshot
Obama will just say they have Social Security so they don't need a pension

This is one of his RAT constituencies. We own GM now, so maybe Congress will declare them all retired civil servants and give them federal pensions.

;-)

31 posted on 07/01/2009 6:50:24 AM PDT by freespirited (Is this a nation of laws or a nation of Democrats? -- Charles Krauthammer)
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To: bestintxas

The old trade unions approach, like the old AFL under Sam Gompers, always had my respect, although They discouraged technical development. The mass union stuff, though, makes no sense economically. My dad was in the oil business, rose from a roughneck to superintendent of a drilling company. No unions, but even a roughneck could make as much per day as someone working
in a Ford plant in the ‘20s, which was good wages. An industrious man could work his way up quickly. A sober man could save money. Morale was always high and men took pride in their work. I was astonished when I met my first auto workers up in Ohio and Michigan. They made good money, but were they an unhappy bunch!


32 posted on 07/01/2009 6:53:00 AM PDT by RobbyS (ECCE homo)
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To: reaganaut1
Now they are trying to take away any early retirement benefits that mid to low level executives might be offered, while the stupid union workers were being paid full salary when they got laid off.

I am so tired of the class war fare that Obama is encouraging. I really think that Obama HATES capitalists.

33 posted on 07/01/2009 6:56:56 AM PDT by Eva (union motto - Aim for mediocrity, it's only fair.)
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To: Eva
Retired From G.M. at 54. Pensionless at 74?......

So I'm sitting in a KMart waiting for my wife--and next to a fella in his 80s....Start talking bout 'the situation'----He says he was a machinist up in Ohio and retired at age 49 years ago to come to Flor-ee-Duh....

Sheesh...Great chance of living half his life off others....Can't call him dumb !

34 posted on 07/01/2009 7:02:14 AM PDT by litehaus (A memory tooooo long)
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To: RobbyS

I understand where you are coming from, but when I think of the large amounts of money taken from union workers to pay the fatcat union bosses and the parlay of it to fund liberals like Zer0, they deserve no sympathy from me.


35 posted on 07/01/2009 7:03:31 AM PDT by bestintxas
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To: litehaus

I had a couple neighbors who retired at around age 50 from a GM plant. Neither made it to age 60.


36 posted on 07/01/2009 7:06:48 AM PDT by Travis T. OJustice (I can spell just fine, thanks, it's my typing that sucks.)
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To: reaganaut1
I'm looking for my world's smallest violin. Prove to me these Union supporters did NOT support Obama and then maybe I'll have some compassion.
37 posted on 07/01/2009 7:13:31 AM PDT by Paige ("All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing," Edmund Burke)
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To: Travis T. OJustice

My parents have lots of friends who have retired, and after 6-8 months, they are bored and trying to go back to work. Even my MIL who is 76 still works 3 days a week. She says it keeps her young and mentally sharp!

The ones who stay “retired” all seem to die within a few years. It’s like they have no purpose in life and just fade away.


38 posted on 07/01/2009 7:18:09 AM PDT by Aggie Mama
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To: CaptainK

And we’ll be working til we die.


39 posted on 07/01/2009 7:19:40 AM PDT by wordsofearnest (Job 19:25 As for me, I know my Redeemer lives.)
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To: Paige

The thing I would most love is electing some absolutely fire-breathing Conservative. Day One he is head of GM, right? I mean the Zero is head now, so obviously when Zero goes the new Pres is head of GM. New Pres appoints a car-czar who announces that GM is closing, filing chapter 7, and that pensioners will be getting 10c on the dollar. The USA is getting out of the car business, the union support business, the private pension subsidy business.

LOL. What Lord FedGov giveth, Lord FedGov can take away! Now that is CHANGE I could believe in, and some thing that future Marxist Presidents could not “undo”.

We need conservative leaders who start attacking and destroying the INSTITUTIONS that support the Marxists. This includes everything from public university tenure committees (think Angela Davis, et al) to absurd giant non-profit agencies.

Hopefully Rahm’s closing of all Republican car dealerships in America will be remembered and repaid, with interest.


40 posted on 07/01/2009 7:20:00 AM PDT by Jack Black
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To: uptoolate

“Dying with dignity” will become the new patriotism.


41 posted on 07/01/2009 7:24:29 AM PDT by St. Louis Conservative
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To: Jack Black
Hopefully Rahm’s closing of all Republican car dealerships in America will be remembered and repaid, with interest.

I pray people DO NOT forget what that Marxist did.
42 posted on 07/01/2009 7:30:22 AM PDT by Paige ("All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing," Edmund Burke)
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To: reaganaut1

I don’t remember the NYT whining about ‘the workers’ when Enron failed. I also don’t remember anyone bailing them out!


43 posted on 07/01/2009 7:37:57 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: bestintxas

Well, I agree that the worst things about unions is that they remind me of animal farm. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. Leaders start out as workers but they end up living as high as the capitalists. The worst unions are the public employee unions. I was a long-time member, and local leader in a teachers’ union, and it was interesting to see how one evolved into autocratic institutions that spend most of its resources on matters unrelated to the welfare of the members. But most teachers went along, wanting to be taken care of, and uninterested in playing a role in the governing of the union.


44 posted on 07/01/2009 7:47:43 AM PDT by RobbyS (ECCE homo)
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To: bestintxas

Well, I agree that the worst things about unions is that they remind me of animal farm. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. Leaders start out as workers but they end up living as high as the capitalists. The worst unions are the public employee unions. I was a long-time member, and local leader in a teachers’ union, and it was interesting to see how one evolved into autocratic institutions that spend most of its resources on matters unrelated to the welfare of the members. But most teachers went along, wanting to be taken care of, and uninterested in playing a role in the governing of the union.


45 posted on 07/01/2009 7:47:46 AM PDT by RobbyS (ECCE homo)
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To: RobbyS

Isn’t it remarkable that what you described regarding union leaders is exactly how most members of Congress evolve as well?

Once they leave their states and surround themselves with the D.C. crowd, they forget who elected them and work for their own interests.

I believe it is an intrinsic human trait that only a few overcome.

Our founders recogized this trait and created our government in a way to suppress this instinct. Right now it is not suppressed, as people who should be paying attention are not, and the politicians are getting away with it.

We need people to wake up.


46 posted on 07/01/2009 7:57:15 AM PDT by bestintxas
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To: kcvl

“I don’t remember the NYT whining about ‘the workers’ when Enron failed. I also don’t remember anyone bailing them out!”

Enron being in Texas was not a Wall Street Company, so it had to be dissed. Big difference. NY considers itself the hub of everything exciting and you cannot let a Texas company succeed, can you?

Did any of the families of the dead folks in Oklahoma City get million dollar payoffs from the govt like the ones in the World Trade Center?


47 posted on 07/01/2009 8:00:46 AM PDT by bestintxas
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To: litehaus
No, the stupid label was just out of frustration. The unions will be the ruin of the country. That's what Obama has planned.

Did you read that Obama told Columbia that they were moving closer to the free trade agreement, but that still had some work to do on unionization? Yeah, I guess Obama wants them to unionize the drug cartels.

48 posted on 07/01/2009 8:02:03 AM PDT by Eva (union motto - Aim for mediocrity, it's only fair.)
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To: bestintxas
The arrogance is what you most notice. A congressman when first elected is pretty much the was he presented himself. But then, as time wears on, he becomes phony. Either he pretends to be “one of us,” and the act soon wears thin, or he doesn't bother to hide his sense of superiority.
49 posted on 07/01/2009 9:03:33 AM PDT by RobbyS (ECCE homo)
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To: RobbyS

Interesting to me that no Republican seems to be able to grab the ball for a slam dunk campaign issue:

Joe taxpayer is shelling out tens of billions so 50 yr old UAW members can get $3200/month and silver (formerly gold) plated benefits.

Maybe they can’t cut through the media clutter of Michael Jackson........


50 posted on 07/01/2009 5:28:40 PM PDT by nascarnation
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