Benefits

Bill Seeks Government Sale of GM Stock to Fund Delphi Pension Benefits

By Kevin Olsen

Sep. 6, 2012

Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, will introduce legislation to use certain proceeds from the federal government’s sale of stock of General Motors Co. to restore full pension benefits for non-union Delphi Corp. retirees, confirmed Lauren Kulik, spokeswoman for Brown.

The legislation, which will be introduced next week when the Senate reconvenes, is intended to cover all benefits lost to hourly and salaried retirees when the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. took over the Delphi’s six defined benefit plans in 2009. The plans were terminated as part of Delphi’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

The money would be held in a fund at the Treasury Department and would be paid out to eligible retirees with guidance from the PBGC, Kulik said in an e-mail. Delphi’s bankruptcy kept 20,000 salaried retirees and 19,000 hourly retirees from receiving full pension benefits.

The Delphi pension plans were underfunded by $7 billion when they were terminated, and the PBGC assumed responsibility for $6.1 billion.

GM agreed in 2009 to make good on any difference in payouts to Delphi’s retired hourly union employees due to the PBGC’s ceiling on benefit payments, fulfilling a union agreement from the automaker’s spinoff of Delphi in 1999.

“Many Delphi retirees have yet to receive the pensions they earned and deserve,” Brown said in a news release. “Now that General Motors is profitable once again and the federal government is preparing to sell its stake in the company, a portion of the proceeds should be used for those shortchanged retirees.”

Kevin Olsen writes for Pensions & Investments, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email editors@workforce.com.

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