Benefits Cuts Next on GM Agenda

October 23, 2008 ( - GM announced layoffs and benefits cuts for salaried workers are coming.

A letter to executives from GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner and Chief Operating Officer Fritz Henderson said the firm will be eliminating matching payments into 401(k) plans and further changes will be announced soon, according to the Wall Street Journal. The letter also said the automaker will be forced to lay off salaried workers although more employees than expected took buyouts.

The moves are part of a $15 billion liquidity boosting plan announced in July that includes putting a halt on the establishment of a Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association (VEBA) trust for retiree health care (See GM Puts the Brakes on Health Care VEBA ).

The letter comes a month after GM announced a deal to help its former parts unit emerge from bankruptcy, agreeing to assume $3.4 billion of Delphi Corp.’s pension plan (See GM Steps in on Delphi Plan ).