Panel to hold hearing on Delphi pensions

July 6, 2012 at 1:03 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 6 (UPI) -- A Washington panel said it would hold a hearing to investigate how General Motors Co. handled pension plans for employees at automotive parts company Delphi.

The House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that monitors the Troubled Asset Relief Program said it would hold a hearing Tuesday to explore "the Obama administration's auto bailouts and Delphi pension decisions, the special treatment given to politically favored groups at the expense of taxpayers."

At issue are pension plans for 20,000 of Delphi's salaried employees.

When the company filed for bankruptcy in 2009, pension plans for 70,000 workers were put in jeopardy, The Detroit News reported Friday.

Delphi's pension fund had a $7.2 billion budget shortfall, the second highest of any failed pension plan in U.S. history.

The government's backup system, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., assumed $6 billion of the company's pension obligations.

GM then said it would take over the pension plans for Delphi's hourly United Auto Worker members, but not for salaried workers at Delphi or for members of other unions.

The Special Inspector General of TARP, Christy Romero, wants to know why, but three officials who were on President Obama's automobile industry task force -- former auto czar Ron Bloom and advisers Harry Wilson and Matthew Feldman -- are refusing to answer questions on the matter.

The Treasury Department said it did not tell GM to pick up the tab for the hourly workers. GM said it was obligated to working with the UAW.

"These individuals earned taxpayer-funded salaries for taxpayer-funded actions, and are now denying those taxpayers the transparency and answers they deserve," said Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio.

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