The two sides held an hour-long conference call Friday, called by GM, to discuss the planned pension buyout offer to 42,000 salaried retirees.
Also, GM is offloading $26 billion of its $134 billion in pension obligations to Prudential Insurance Co., which means about 118,000 salaried retirees will see their pensions swapped for lump-sum payments or paid by Prudential, not GM.
GM’s decision to terminate its salaried pensions and transfer them to Prudential has angered many retirees. Some have threatened to stop buying GM vehicles.
Retirees have stopped short of calling for a formal boycott or demonstration at GM’s Renaissance Center headquarters in Detroit.
However, leaders of a group representing white-collar retirees plan to hold a conference call Monday to decide their next steps.
Jim Shepherd, the General Motors Retiree Association president, wrote GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson this month questioning the pension plan changes, noting that retirees will lose the protection of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. — the government’s pension insurer — along with federal law that governs employee pensions.
GM officials on Friday’s call said the July 20 deadline to decide whether to accept the lump sum will not be extended. “It was mostly a question and answer period,” said Shepherd in an interview after the call.
GM spokesman Dave Roman said pensions were the topic of a regularly scheduled call Friday with presidents of GM retiree clubs across the country.
He declined to provide any details of the meeting.