Auto execs likely to have pensions cut

June 3, 2009 at 5:08 PM
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DETROIT, June 3 (UPI) -- Bankruptcies at U.S. automakers Chrysler and General Motors Corp. will likely cost former executives at least part of their pension plans, the companies said.

Chrysler has already demanded former executives, including the iconic Lee Iacocca, return or buy their company cars by May 31, The Detroit News reported Wednesday.

The gesture is one step towards retrieving what could be big money. GM's former Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner is still, technically on the payroll, receiving $1 for his work in 2009. But, Wagoner's $22 million pension plan is also at stake, the News said.

Robert Lutz the vice chairman of GM who has worked at Chrysler and Ford confirmed that his Chrysler pension had been reduced, but he would not give details, the newspaper said.

Chrysler cut pension payments to about 1,200 retirees when it filed for bankruptcy April 30. The fate of those pension plans will be decided in court.

GM said, "the amount of non-qualified pension for some executive retirees may be affected," but kept the decision out of its court proceedings.

The company will decide on pensions after GM emerges from bankruptcy, GM spokeswoman Julie Gibson said.

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