GM National Retiree Association | Over The Hill Car People. Com Forum Index GM National Retiree Association | Over The Hill Car People. Com
GM National Retiree Association | OTHCP - Dedicated To All GM Retired And Active Folks & The American OWNED Auto Industry - Established 2003
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch     UsergroupsUsergroups 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

What’s happening with GM’s pensions?

 
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    GM National Retiree Association | Over The Hill Car People. Com Forum Index -> Auto News!
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Admin



Joined: 11 Dec 2003
Posts: 5289

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:11 pm    Post subject: What’s happening with GM’s pensions? Reply with quote

September 19, 2012


Sept. 19, 2012, 1:39 p.m. EDT

What’s happening with GM’s pensions?

By Alicia Munnell

While the Democratic Party has made the bailout of the automobile companies a talking point in this year’s election campaign, unveiling convention slogans like “ Osama Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive ,” I, a pension nerd, have been wondering how General Motors Co.’s offer to transform retirees’ pensions into lump sums has turned out. How many of those offered the conversion actually took it? And were those who took it married or single, high-paid or low-paid, older or younger, healthy or sick?

Some of that information will never be knowable, but I am really curious whether 20% or 80% of those offered accepted. I hope that the share was closer to 20%.

GM /quotes/zigman/1466682/quotes/nls/gm GM +1.31% , in order to reduce its liability, so that it could be immunized and transferred to Prudential Insurance Co. of America /quotes/zigman/294774/quotes/nls/pru PRU 0.00% , offered 42,000 of its salaried retirees (those who retired between Oct. 1, 1997, and Dec. 1, 2011) the option of accepting a lump sum or continuing to receive their monthly check from Prudential instead of from GM. GM plans to purchase a group annuity contract under which Prudential will pay and administer future benefit payments to most of the remaining U.S. salaried retirees. The offer was made on June 1, and retirees had to decide by July 20.

To those of us who spend our time advocating the automatic annuitization of at least some portion of 401(k) balances so that people will not outlive their resources, the offer to unannuitize — transform lifetime incomes into lump sums — seems like a step in the wrong direction. Retirees with ongoing monthly pension benefits are much more secure than those who have to decide how to allocate their retirement assets over an uncertain life span. Retirees with pensions will not outlive their benefits, and they do not have to worry about the ups and downs of the stock market.

When lump sums might make sense

Taking the lump sum is a really risky business. Once they get the money, they will have to invest it in order to duplicate anything close to what they were receiving from GM. They are likely to end up paying high fees and facing volatile financial markets. Some retirees have suggested they will take their money and buy an annuity directly from an insurance company. However, it is expensive for individuals to buy annuities on their own, which means that they will end up with lower monthly benefits than they were receiving from GM.

Is there anyone who should take the lump sum? Only those with a serious illness who believe that they do not have much time left should even consider it. The trouble with counting on death, however, is its lack of predictability; even sick people may live longer than they expect to.

Some experts say that wealthy people with lots of other assets, who do not rely on their GM pension as their primary source of income, might consider the lump sum. Still, given today’s tumultuous markets, it is unlikely that even the sophisticated investor will be able to generate more income from their lump sum than from their GM pension.

Those who opt to continue receiving monthly benefits will get their check from Prudential rather than from the GM plan. Because their income isn’t coming from a pension plan, their benefits are no longer insured by the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

GM’s move is part of a series of lump-sum buyouts. Ford Motor Co. /quotes/zigman/264304/quotes/nls/f F +1.63% began offering lump sums to retired salaried employees in August, and industry experts predict that both companies will do the same with their retired union workers. Other companies are likely to follow the auto industry and off-load their pension promises.

But retirees have the choice, and if they want a secure retirement, almost all of them should say “no” to lump sums. So, I hope the share that accepted GM’s offer was 20% or less.


http://www.marketwatch.com/story/whats-happening-with-gms-pensions-2012-09-19
_________________
Click Here To Return To The Home Page Of www.overthehillcarpeople.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    GM National Retiree Association | Over The Hill Car People. Com Forum Index -> Auto News! All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group